G Vinod | March 8, 2011

The Bukit Jalil estate residents have given City Hall 48-hours to explain the eviction notices, failing which an application for an injunction will be filed.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ladang Bukit Jalil residents are planning to file an injunction to stop the City Hall (DBKL) from evicting them on March 15.

At a press conference here, their legal adviser Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said a letter has been despatched to DBKL demanding an explanation over the eviction notice sent on March 1.

“We have given them 48 hours to respond. If there is no reply by tomorrow, we will go to court to get an injunction against them,” added the Lawyers for Liberty coordinator.

On March 3, the 41 families of the estate lodged a police report against Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail after receiving the eviction notice.

They claimed that the notice was illegal as it did not indicate under which regulation the eviction would take place.

The latest eviction notice came after Nong Chik met the residents on Feb 23 and announced that DBKL would only offer RM23,000 each to those who had worked in the rubber estate for more than 15 years and RM11,000 for the rest as compensation.

The minister then told them that the offer was final and eviction would take place whether they accept it or not.

Dismissing the new eviction notice, Fadiah said the the order had no legal standing as it did not comply with any known regulation.

“The notice did not indicate under which provision of the law they are being evicted. It seems to be an attempt to intimidate and threaten the residents to leave the land,” she said.

She said that the notice was misleading as it implied that the eviction was taking place based on what had been agreed upon in a meeting last month.

“The minister merely made an announcement that day and he has yet to give any written guarantee on his offer,” she added.

83 police reports lodged

Sharing his views, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan criticised Nong Chik’s deputy M Saravanan for saying that the residents were only served with eviction notices, and not booted out of their homes under the Emergency Ordinance.

“It is illegal for them (DBKL) to just ask the residents to vacate the land. Only the court can give an eviction order.

“And the estate was originally 1,800 acres. They built highways, condominiums and a golf club but they can’t give four acres of land to the original inhabitants,” he said.

Estate resident, K Balakrishnan complained that the police had not taken any action against Nong Chik and DBKL despite the numerous reports filed against them for abusing their authority.

“To date, we have filed 83 police reports but none of the reports have been investigated. We want the police to take action immediately. We also want the police to provide protection for us if they come to evict us on March 15,” he said.

He added that the residents were now living in fear as there were strangers coming to the estate area and taking pictures of their homes.

“Even last night, three unknown cars entered our estate. We are fearful that they might just burn our houses,” he said.

Also present at the press conference was a representative from Kampung Berembang, which was torn down in 2006 after a stand off between the residents and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

Norazlin Ali, who came to lend his support to the Bukit Jalil estate residents, reminded the authorities that the city was first inhabitated by squatters and estate workers before skyscrapers were built.

“These workers (Bukit Jalil residents) are our assets that helped build our country,” he said.

The NGOs present at the press conference were the Oppressed People Network (Jerit), Suaram, Selangor and Federal Territories Residents Association (Permas) and Lim Len Geok (LLG) Development Centre.

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RM23,000 offer – take it or leave it