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Residents near RTS land fear losing their homes

PETALING JAYA (May 15): Residents of Kim Teng Park, Johor Bahru are living in fear of losing their homes.

This is because their “taman” borders land that is “slated” for the proposed Rapid Transit System (RTS) and a developer is “renewing its bid” to acquire the land, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

It has been reported that this is the second time Kim Teng Park folk are threatened with eviction – in 2015, the Land Office sent a notice to inform the residents that Kim Teng Park would be acquired by City Centre Transformation (JB) Sdn Bhd.

The mostly elderly residents were, however, saved by “the intervention” the then Johor Bahru MP Shahrir Samad.  

In the latest episode, FMT reported that the Land Office “invoked Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 to issue a notice that the land may be acquired by the same company for redevelopment”.

“Again no reasons have been given and no dialogue sessions with the residents have been called,” said Kim Teng Park Residents’ Association spokesman S Velasamy told the news portal.

Meanwhile, the Kim Teng Park folk have have appointed lawyers Derek Fernandez and Ambiga Sreenevasan to “fight their case” and an application has been filed to set aside the acquisition.

The residents have also asked for help from Johor Bahru law maker Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir and Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen.

They have also sent letters to all Pakatan Harapan assemblymen in Johor, executive councillors, Menteri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We have heard so much about land grabs and we are distressed as we do not know what is happening or is going to happen.

“There are around 1,500 people staying here and the vast majority is over 60. If they lose their homes, where else can they go? At their age, they won’t be able to get a bank loan for a new home,” Velasamy added.

For his part, Akmal Nasrullah told the news portal that the Johor authorities should obtain feedback from the residents.

“They have a right to air their views and have them considered.”

“I am seeking feedback from relevant state agencies and a meeting with the MB on this,” he added.

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