[Hpn] Squatters Wait In Vain For New Flats To Be Built

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Wed, 27 Jul 2005 08:19:29 -0400


Wednesday July 27, 2005

Squatters wait in vain for new flats


MORE than 200 squatter families in Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth, have been
waiting for nearly eight years for their new flats that have yet to be
Their spokesman, W.L. Goay, said 92 of the over 200 families had in 1997
signed a compensation agreement with Cherating Development Sdn Bhd to
receive a medium-cost flat unit each within its development project nearby.
"The over RM1bil development project had earlier run into some problems and
is now being rehabilitated by Woolley Development Sdn Bhd since 2001.
"The developer has not started work on Block B, which consists of 198
medium-cost units, to accommodate the affected residents," he told a
dialogue session with State Housing Commit-tee chairman Syed Amerrudin Syed
Ahmad in Raja Uda, Butterworth, recently.
Also present were Bagan Jermal assemblyman Ooi Chuan Aik, Sungai Puyu
assemblyman Phee Boon Poh, Bagan MP Lim Hock Seng, and representatives from
state departments and Woolley Development.
Goay said the squatters, who fondly called the area, Ang Moh Chae (White
Well), were supposed to have moved into their flat units by 1999.
He said 65 of the 92 affected families had since 1997 moved into longhouses
provided by the developer, and the remaining 27 received rental monthly
allowances of RM400 that stopped in 1999.
"The other 100-odd families who did not sign the compensation agreement are
still occupying the land. However, they were recently slapped with eviction
notices," he said.
Syed Amerrudin said he would help those who were eligible for low-cost
housing units to obtain a unit at the project's Block A low-cost flats.
"I will also discuss with the developer to find alternative housing for the
remaining squatters who were not offered any compensation plan," he said.
He said Penang had 17 abandoned housing projects, adding that the state
government was in the process of mediating to help revive them in stages.
A spokesman from Woolley Development said the company was in the midst of
constructing low-cost Block A, which would be completed by next year.
"We will start work on Block B after we finish Block A. It is up to the
state Housing Department to decide who would be offered the units," the
spokesman said.

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