Monday, September 6, 2010

Eviction issue at Kg Pisang Awak resolved

By Himanshu Bhatt

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 5, 2010): The long-standing eviction issue of a Malay village in Jelutong has finally been resolved, ending six years of controversy.

Deputy Chief Minister (I) Datuk Mansor Othman led negotiations for an amicable compensation deal for residents of Kampung Pisang Awak who have been staying in temporary longhouses.

Mansor, who is also Penang PKR chief, oversaw the sealing of the agreements by the remaining households last week. They now have until Sept 24 to vacate the premises.

The families had been putting up in the longhouses since 2004 to make way for the Jelutong Indah flats developed by JKP Sdn Bhd, the property arm of the Finance Ministry.

The low-cost apartment project which commenced in 2006 consists of the construction of an 11-storey apartment block of 152 units, a community hall, car park and management room.

About 80 families were relocated from the project site, but not all were offered housing units as some already owned houses elsewhere.

On June 17, the state sealed compensation for other households in the area, with 26 getting housing units at discounted offers to acquire the low-cost flats.

It is understood that free low-cost housing units were only given to those who were original owners of houses in Kampung Pisang Awak, and others were offered different compensation packages depending on how many years they had been staying there.

"I hope with the issue now resolved the state government can focus on the development project," Mansor said.

He said problems and issues that were raised had dragged on for very long.

He said the compensation deal was also ratified by the state executive council on Aug 24.

"This shows there is no racial discrimination practised by the current state administration," he said.

He said the state had held numerous discussions with residents, accompanied by relevant state agencies, to hear their concerns and appeals.

He said the project was not just intended to relocate the residents but was aimed at bringing about safer and more comfortable living conditions with amenities and facilities. -- theSun