We me up with local residents at Cherry Gardens. One of the senior residents one Mr Lucas called me a few days to complain that their Rukun Tentangga premises has been given evicition notice.
Today with my political secretaries Sdr. Chong Chee King, Sdr. D.Tanabalan and the Secretary of DAP Maxwell Branch Sdr. A.Wasu met the local residents. And this is news;
Cherry Park, situated in the center of Ipoh City, have more then 500 houses and a population of over 2000 people.
Concerned local residents of Cherry Park formed a Rukun Tetangga Association sometime in the late 70’s. The locals wanted this association to be the main organization to connect one another in the local community and also to fight crime in the area.
In 1978, the Association obtained monetary contribution to build permanent structure on a piece of state government land. The ¼ acres land is known as Geran 00027388 lot no 04408. To date over RM100,000 has been spent to put up the Association's premise there.
The premise is also used for recreational and educational activates. A kindergarten opeartes there and it caters for the over 50 families who send their children there.
On 23rd September this year, a lawyer acting for a private individual claiming to be the owner of the above said land sent a notice of eviction to the Department of National Unity and Integration ( Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Intergrasi Nasional). The lawyer's notice specifically demanded that the building on the above land should be demolished/removed by the 31stOctober09. Subsequently the Department sent a notice to the Association asking them to comply with demand of the notice.
From investigation done by the members of the Association, it has come to their knowledge that some time in 2005 , the above mentioned land was alienated by the state government to a private individual. The private individual owns over an acre of land adjoining the above mentioned land.
The government's decision to alienate the land to an individual is shocking and irresponsible. Surely the sensible and right thing that the governmnet should have done is to alienate the land to the Association which has been playing its role well in serving the local community, rather than to any individual.
Should this be the government's "reward" to an Association for its dedicated public service to the local community ?
The Department of National Unity and Integration has a duty to assist the Association to protect their premise. It is therefore disappointing to say the least that the Deaprtment has instead urged the Association to comply with the demolition notice.
The locals have approached the DAP to help them. As a first step, we will meet up with the land office to demad answers on the following questions:
1) why was the land alienated / sold to a private individual?
2) at what price was the land sold to the individual ?
3) why was there no prior consultation with the association on the sale of the said land?