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Three evicted from houses in Sentul but cannot afford to shift to Puchong
17/12/2009 The Star Story and photos by PRIYA MENON

IT WAS a day of anxiety for residents of Sentul as a major part of the squatter homes in the area were under siege by both the local council and the developers.

Just moments after the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) officers had retreated from Kampung Tanah Lapang yesterday, political party representatives received a call from three distressed women in Lorong 15, Jalan Sentul Pasar.

The women were being evicted from their houses pending a court order from developer YTL Land and Development, the owner of the land they live on.

Financial reality: Thanaletchumy (front, left), Jayanthy (second from left, back) and Letchumi (front, right) say they do not want to shift to Puchong because the financial burden would be too much to bear.
The eldest, a widow with 10 children, said she had unknowingly signed an agreement form to shift to the DBKL flats in Kampung Muhibbah, Puchong.

“I have no problem shifting, but I did not want a home in Puchong. I live off the RM400 welfare money I receive each month and the donations from organisations in Sentul,” said Thanaletchumy Marimuthu, 41.

She and her married daughter R. Jayanthy, 24, live in one house and each has been offered a unit in Puchong but they refuse to shift there as the move would affect their livelihood and their children’s education.

Another resident, K. Letchumi, 39, works in Batu Caves and has an ailing mother, a disabled sibling and her children, as well as her own child to care for.

Developer’s promise: This document clearly states the developer has agreed to build low-cost units for residents in the area.
She has to manage this with a monthly salary of RM1,000 and if she shifts to Puchong, a huge chunk of the money would be spent on travelling alone.

Their one question remains unanswered: What happened to the low-cost flats that were promised to them by the previous developer, Taiping Consolidated?

The new developer, YTL, denies the promise but residents have proof to claim otherwise.

Documents agreeing to the requests bearing the Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd letter head and several other documents from Taiping Consolidated have been unearthed.

This new turn of events has raised the morale of the people, as they have finally found grounds to fight their case.

The entire Sentul area is slowly being transformed, with high-end condominiums cropping up everywhere. However, this would mean that the original residents of the famed area will have to leave their homes.

“The developer should build low-cost and medium-cost flats, and practise their corporate social responsibility here in Sentul,” Batu MIC division chairman Ramanathan Chinnu said.

For now, Ramanathan and the Batu MIC Youth chairman D. Pala Kumaran will seek the assistance of Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Well Being Minister Datuk M. Saravanan to find three units in the Batu Muda flats near by for the three women and their families.

The women are scheduled to shift out today.


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