Residents in Jalan Jubilee, Kuala Lumpur want reasonable compensation from the property developer that has issued eviction notices to make way for an affordable housing project.
They are demanding a unit of affordable housing for each household as well as financial compensation.
Indran Kanavaji, chairman of the Jubilee Homes Committee which represents the 41 affected households, said the eviction notice served by UDA Accord Development Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UDA Holdings Bhd, came too abruptly and had left the residents in a lurch.
“The residents have lived here for more than 60 years and most of them have nowhere to go if they are evicted.
“This is unfair to them, and we are seeking compensation from the developer,” he said during a press conference at one of the residents’ home.
The residents were served the first notice on Oct 12 and given 60 days to move out. When they failed to do so, they were served with a writ summons on Jan 20 to attend the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Feb 13.
According to the writ summons, UDA Accord Development had paid the premium for the 1.983ha land on which the 41 houses were located. The land was initially leased to the residents for 30 years in 1954, with the lease expiring sometime in 1984.
“The residents tried to renew the lease, but to no avail,” said Indran.
“We are contesting the case and we hope that we can come up with an amicable solution with the developer,” he added.
Retiree Susillah Kannusamy, 66, said she inherited the house after her husband passed away in 2007.
“I feel sad after receiving the notice, and the eviction period they gave us is too short.
“This is our kampung, and we are still paying the assessment tax. It is unfair to us,” she said.
Yeow Pek Neo, 82, who had lived at her home for 64 years with her son, said she had been having sleepless nights after being told to leave.
“I do not have another property. If there is no relocation plan by the developer, where can I go?” she asked.
UDA Holdings group chief operating officer Nordin Murat said they were open to discussions with the residents.
“We are willing to discuss with the residents and come up with a suitable solution, but we have yet to receive any proposal from the residents for a meeting.
“The residents are living on land with expired lease, so we will leave it to our lawyers to handle the case,” he said.
The issue was highlighted by Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, who said, “These (existing) houses were built by the residents, and the value now would be more than RM300,000.