Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being deputy minister M Saravanan has given the assurance that no eviction will take place till a settlement has been reached with DBKL.

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being deputy minister M Saravanan has given the assurance that Bukit Jalil residents will not be evicted from their homes till a settlement has been reached with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

But the residents hope that DBKL will honour Saravanan’s directive and reconvene negotiations as possible.

Speaking after submitting a letter to DBKL mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail today, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan called upon DBKL to honour Saravanan’s words.

On Monday, Saravanan had reportedly told a Tamil daily that he had instructed DBKL not to evict the residents until both parties reached an amicable solution.

Although the residents lost their case in court, Saravanan told the daily that the government was still deliberating on how to help the residents.

“Till then, no eviction will take place. The residents can stay there in peace,” Saravanan told the daily.

Arutchelvan called upon Ahmad Fuad to reconvene negotiations with the residents soon to settle the matter once and for all.

Also present were Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) coordinator Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit) coordinator E Nalini, Hindraf Makkal Sakthi national coordinator K Balakrishnan and Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPA) secretary-general S Bharatidasan.

A copy of the letter was also sent to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

MPs to write to minister

The 41 families living in the former estate area are in a stand-off with DBKL after the latter issued eviction notices to them under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) in March.

They argued that EO could only be used to evict squatter residents, not estate workers.

However, in May, the High Court quashed the residents’ application for an injunction against DBKL. The court also dismissed the residents’ suit against DBKL last Thursday. They have since filed for an appeal over the verdict.

Balakrishnan, who is also a resident in the estate, said all they wanted was four acres of land from the 26 acres land the City Hall wishes to develop.

“Our forefathers toiled in the estate in the past to contribute to our nation’s economy. Najib should adhere to our request if he really cares about us,” said Balakrishnan.

Sharing her views, Nurul Izzah said she and her MP collegues, Tian Chua and Khalid Ibrahim would write letters to Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin to remind him of Saravanan’s promise to the former estate workers.

“The residents are now living in fear. These people have lived there for generations and I hope both parties come to a mutual understanding to the matter,” said Nurul.

By G Vinod | August 18, 2011