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UDA to spend RM80m to redevelop Kampung Tanjung Tokong

JOHOR BAHRU: UDA Holdings Bhd will spend about RM80 million to relocate and redevelop the Kampung Tanjung Tokong squatter settlement in Penang by the end of the year.

Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the redevelopment model was the first of its kind among developers where each squatter household would get a house without having to pay for it and the transfer cost.

He said no developers were willing to fork out money to take care the welfare and interests of squatters who had been given notice to vacate their land.

"This is UDA's struggle to safeguard the Bumiputera community. We do not want them to live in a squalid environment... Unfortunately, certain quarters are against the redevelopment.

"We have been amenable to the squatters and tried to fulfil their requests, which sometimes do not make sense," he said in a statement to Bernama on Monday, Jan 17.

Nur Jazlan was commenting on a request from a group of squatters, who want the federal government spend RM300 million to redevelop the squatter colony.

He said the redevelopment of Kampung Tanjung Tokong squatter settlement could not be equated with that of Kampung Baru, which was came under the Malay Resettlement Act.

Tanjung Tokong dwellers are squatting on land owned by UDA Holdings and if it is not developed, it shows the agency has failed to play its role in assisting the Bumiputera community, especially in Penang, he added.

"UDA will not marginalise any group. From the census conducted, its residents have risen from 833 to 1,042.

"We will build two types of quality houses with a market value of between RM150,000 and RM200,000 for them to replace their squatter dwellings and they will [be] equipped with amenities," he said.

He said the first type of houses would be a three-bedroom 850 square feet six-storey apartment units, equipped with elevators for TOL holders and their next-of-kin," he said.

A three-bedroom 800 sq feet units will be built for squatters who are not TOL holders and have been occupying unnumbered houses, he added.

Pending the completion of the houses, he said the squatters would be relocated to transit houses costing RM24,000 each, hardly two km away.

Nur Jazlan said the independent Tanjung Tokong Relocation Coordination Committee had been set up involving the Penang state government and UDA Holdings Bhd and chaired by State Secretary Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman.

"The committee will facilitate discussions between UDA and the squatters without the need to consult various parties, who claim to represent the squatters," he said, adding that the squatters should not politicise the issue and should channel their grievances to the committee. — Bernama
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