Kim Teng Park residents breathe easier now

Residents of Kim Teng Park who have been living in limbo since May 2015 (TMI, Aug 25, 2015), breathed a collective sigh of relieve recently when they heard the announcement that their homes were no longer part of a compulsory government acquisition.

Kim Teng Park, developed at Bukit Ungku
Aziz, is a 52-year old residential area in JB
Special Representative for Johor Baru MP, Tan Sri Shahrir Abd Samad, Mok Chek Hou, made the announcement in the presence of residents and media members at a gathering held in Kerala restaurant, a popular restaurant in this 52-year old neighbourhood.

At the press conference, it was revealed that the residents committee received a letter from the Johor Baru land administrator’s office dated Oct 15, stating that the acquisition process has been cancelled.

“On behalf of the residents’ committee and the residents of Kim Teng Park, we thank the state government for listening to our plight and appeal not to proceed with the acquisition,” said residents’ committee representative, S. Rajasingam.

“We are indebted to Tan Sri Shahrir for standing with us from the start, for his help in taking this matter to the state government and succeeding in getting the acquisition process cancelled,” he added.

When the residents, many who are elderly, received the gazette notice issued on May 21, 2015, for the government acquisition of Kim Teng Park, they were understandably overwhelmed and many were severely traumatised.

YB Mok Chek Hou, speaking to the residents and media
at the press conference held in Kerala Restaurant
In the subsequent months, the residents’ committee worked hard to stop the state government from acquiring their housing estate and sought the help of JB MP, Tan Sri Shahrir.

In August, the residents’ committee received a letter from the Johor Baru land administrator’s office notifying that the hearing for the acquisition, scheduled for September, was postponed until further notice.

While the residents were then relieved that their homes were no longer being acquired, some voiced their concerns that this unfortunate situation may recur in the future.

Residents are all smiles, relieved that they will not be
losing their family homes at Kim Teng Park
“We want freehold to be truly freehold,” said Foo Lee Fei, who expressed her opinion that the relevant sub-sections of the National Land Acquisition Act should be amended to stop corporations from acquiring residential land for commercial purposes.

“I can breathe easier now and maybe live a little longer,” said Jaswant Singh who succinctly summed up the prevailing sentiment among the residents, of which some of the more elderly residents had been badly traumatised by the prospect of losing their homes.

“As new buildings are being developed nearby, we look forward to the state government’s help to give Kim Teng Park a facelift and upgrade this old housing estate to compliment the surrounding developments,” said Rajasingam as he thanked Mok for his continued support.

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 26 Oct 2015

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