Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Federal government must be prepared to compulsorily acquire the land to save the Cherry Park RT Association's premise from demolition.

Concerned local residents of Cherry Park formed a Rukun Tetangga ( RT ) Association sometime in 1976. The locals wanted this Association to be the main organisation 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 operates 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 31st October 09. 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 the above mentioned land has been 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 government 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 Department has instead urged the Association to comply with the demolition notice.

I have raised the plight of the Association in Parliament. When replying to me on November 17, the Cabinet minister in charge of National Unity and Integration Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon did not provide any immediate and concrete solution.

He revealed that the land was actually registered in an owner's name in 1993 but it was strange that it took the owner 16 years later to send out a lawyer's notice to the Association.

He further said that The Department was currently discussing with the Land Department on the actual status of the land and working to find a suitable solution.

Tan Sri Koh is often described as the KPI ( key performance index) minister But where is his efficiency in solving this issue?

The letter to demand demolition / removal of the building was issued by the land owner in September. Till today, no solution has yet been found by him or the Department of National unity and Integration. . What has happened to all this government talk about " Performance Now".?

The Association predicament may not be an isolated case as there may well be similar cases which have yet to come to light.

DAP demands the following answers:-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

Finally, the Federal Government must be prepared to compulsorily acquire the land under the National Land Code to save the Association's premise if there is no suitable solution.

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