Friday, May 30, 2008


Squatters appeal to City Hall to defer demolition


The squatters of Kampung Teluk Likas have appealed to the Kota Kinabalu City Hall to defer demolishing their houses until they are properly resettled as promised by the State Government in 1996. They made the appeal during a peaceful demonstration held at their village yesterday. Some 100 residents of all ages took part in the brief demonstration to highlight their plight over the imminent exercise by the City Hall to demolish their houses on June 2. A total of 147 houses with more than 400 squatters will be affected by the exercise. Their spokesman Yassin B. Amat, 73, claimed that they were victims of improper relocation exercises carried out by the relevant authorities back in 1996 and 1997, to relocate them to the free housing scheme in Kampung Warisan Phase 1 and 2 in lnanam, near here. He said that during the two relocation exercises facilitated by City Hall, only half of the 300 over families were relocated while the remaining failed to do so when their houses were taken by outsiders, due to alleged irregularities in the relocation exercises. “We have concrete evidence to prove this (irregularities),” he stressed. They were subsequently offered the walk-up apartments in Telipok Ria which they turned down, as they could not afford the monthly rental, as well as other expenses like transportation that they would incur if they were to move there. “Furthermore, that (Telipok Ria housing) was not what we have been promised earlier by the State Government. We were supposed to get the free housing in Kampung Warisan Phase 1 & 2,” pointed out Yassin. He also regretted that their numerous written appeals to City Hall, including those by their elected representative, Sepanggar Member of Parliament Datuk Eric Majimbun to rectify the problem, were to no avail. Yassin thus hoped the State Government could immediately intervene and provide for a proper solution to the problem. He especially reminded the State Government that they were hardcore Barisan Nasional(BN) supporters who voted for the Coalition in the last general election. “We hope this (imminent demolition of their houses) is not what we get in return for supporting the BN Government,” he said. He added that they might file for a legal suit to safeguard their rights after this, if the City Hall proceeds with the demolition exercise.