Suhakam to investigate human rights violations report presented by the Sg Chua residents over forced eviction and unlawful demolition of homes

Press Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Kuala Lumpur, Thursday): Yesterday, more than twenty Sg Chua residents effected by the Kajang Outer Ring Road went to lodge a complaint with Suhakam over the forced eviction and unlawful demolition of their homes. They were accompanied by Eanyong Hian Wah(Selangor assistant publicity secretary), K.T.Soon ( coordinator ) and M.J. Palan ( legal advisor ) of the Sg Chua residents representative committee.

On behalf of the residents, we are requesting the Commission to inquire into the following:

  1. Why did the Land Office refuse to process the legitimate applications for extension of leases?
  2. Why did the Land Office deliberately, unlawfully & in obscene haste evict the Residents & demolish their homes?
  3. Why did the Police allow itself to abuse its powers without verifying the facts & demanding from the Land Office & the Sunway Group due compliance of the Law ?

I have presented a memorandum to the Commissioner Datuk Dr Raj Abdul Karim and the Principal Assistant Secretary Jamalludin Othman and spoken on behalf of the residents in my capacity as the advisor to the committee. Several residents have also taken the occasion to pour their grievances in their own language.

Datuk Dr Raj Abdul Karim and Jamalludin Othman were sympathetic with the predicament of the residents. They have promised to raise the matter in its monthly meeting for a decision.

I am reproducing the report in full as follow:-

"19 Nov 2003

The Commissioner,
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.


Re: Kg.Sungei Chua,Kajang ~ Report/Registration of Human Rights Violation/s

On behalf of Twenty{20} residents & land owners of Kg.Sungei Chua{Kajang}, we would like to bring to the attention of The Commission a series of Human Rights Violations that have occurred.

 The Violations are the result of the acquisition of our properties, for the purposes  of The  37km Kajang Traffic Dispersal Ring  Road {KRR}.

1.  A few years ago there was the announcement made that there was to be this  “Highway” that was to be built. It meant that the existing main road which is front of our properties was to be upgraded, etc.

2.   All of the Residents, were totally aware of the fact that there would be the need to take their lands and they were  not unhappy or objecting simply because the project would benefit many people and most importantly when their  land that were theirs for almost a hundred (100) years are taken, they would be properly and justly compensated.

3.  The land for example of one of the Residents have been in their family from at least 1917, when the Matriach, who  is still alive was only five (5) years old. She remembers that her parents were already settled there before that .

4. They were allotted, this piece of land , built their homes and tilled the soil and generally contributed to the development of Kampung Sg Chua which  then helped to develop Kajang.

5.Even when the “Emergency” was declared and Sungai Chua was declared a new village, there was much the Residents contributed in the nation building process.

6.The Residents, have always kept up with their taxes, quit rents and assessments and the area is also a Electoral Polling Centre.

 7.The Residents are not highly educated and are very simple people:- small coffee shop owners, mechanics, car salesmen, retired persons, vegetable sellers, etc.

8.The Residents  applied for the extension of their leases some ten (10) years ago but have not been granted the extensions

 9.Assuming that it is normal as usually the Fourth Defendant is somewhat  slow in these matters, and assured by their “leaders”, and further  continuing to pay the quit rent/assessments accordingly and upon demand, they continued their lives.

10.Thus when the Project was announced, referred to as the SILK HIGHWAY Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang Sdn Bhd}, they were not worried especially since the Sunway Group is the concessionaire/contractor. This gave them the confidence that the compensation will be fair and proper.

11.The Land Office of Ulu Langat then instituted The Acquisition Procedures upon the demands of the Concessionaire.

12.SISTEM LINGKARAN LEBUHRAYA SDN BHD {SILK} is the concessionaire of the highway ~ The 37km Kajang Traffic Dispersal  Ring Road {KRR} and is owned by ~ Barisan Minda Sdn Bhd and Sunway Holdings Incorporated Berhad {SunInc}.

13. SILK is required by the Ministry of Works {Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia} to: finance, design, build, operate and maintain the KRR for a period of  thirty six (36) years.

14.Sunway Holdings wholly owned subsidiary is Sunway Construction Berhad, which is the turnkey contractor of SILK.

15. It must have been a condition of the award by the Ministry that:-

a.         The concessionaire {SILK} is capable of financing the entire project;
b.        The concessionaire {SILK} is capable of building the project.
c.        The concessionaire {SILK} design a proper construction.  

16.   Therefore it is natural to assume that SILK “obtained” the award on account of the ability to fulfill the above “prerequisites” It is of course natural to assume that The Sunway Group as outlined above, must be the basis of the award as the Group qualified.

17. In designing the KRR , it is incumbent on for SILK to take into account various matters and factors inter alia but fundamentally ~ THE   ACQUISITION OF LAND that would be required for the KRR. In the process of “design”, its mandatory for the Designer to investigate, into the lands that need to be “acquired”.

In this investigation, it would mean inter alia checking on the titles and further  presenting the true legal position of the land owners.
18. It all of the above verbal assurances given to the Residents by the community leaders, the Land Office and various officers from SILK and believing in these, that the faithfully complied with all the Acquisition Procedures.

19. However, to their shock and stunned surprise, they were victimized and cheated by the very parties who had a duty to the Residents.

20. Instead of complying with the law, the Sunway Group of Companies have used the “slowness” of the Land Office to only offer and give the Residents compensation on the basis :
           a.That their leases had expired, or had only a few years left;
           b.That some of the Residents had no “titles”.

21. The Residents also discovered that:

a.   Certain Parties had had their leases extended to 99 years, even though their “applications” were very much after the Residents.
b.   Certain Parties were thus given compensation based on the extended ninety (99) years.

22.   It is easy to speculate on the motives behind but the Residents are simple persons and law abiding citizens and had no wish to be manipulated.
23. The Residents have ourselves approached certain Members of  Parliament, poured our grievances out and pleaded for assistance.

24.With their help and with the assistance of the Residents solicitors,  representations were made to LEMBAGA LEBUHRAYA MALAYSIA {LLM}, the Highway Authority responsible for the overseeing the Highways.

25. SILK continued to keep silent and more importantly continued a hidden  campaign to force them out. However, LLM replied to the Residents solicitors which was received on 04/08/2003 , which gave some measure of hope.

26. On 05/08/2003, with their solicitors, we formally went to the offices of the Pegawai Daerah/Pentadbir Tanah, Pejabat Daerah/Tanah Hulu Langat to request for the forms and guide lines for the extension of our leases under S228 of the National Land Code .

27. They were instead given Forms and guidelines under S197 National Land Code which is "Surrender of Land" and Jadual 1 - Application of Government Land .
28.The Residents were not surrendering their lands. They have the rights under the Law to extend their leases. The Hulu Langat land Office  informed that surrender of the land is the "usual procedure" for the extension of leases. We know that this is not true.

29.Demolition Notices were served on the Residents and they were very  distressed every day that the bulldozers will arrive and raze their homes.

30. In late August of 2003, the Residents solicitors filed an action into the Shah Alam High Court.

31.For the greater part of September 2003, the solicitors for the Sunway  Group, were negotiating with the Residents solicitors.

32.The Land Office, however suddenly sent the Residents “Eviction  Notices on the 1st of October 2003.

33.The Residents solicitors almost immediately filed an application {for the   iinterim preservation of their properties} into the Shah Alam High Court

34.After a series of adjournments, the application was finally heard on Friday & Saturday the 7th & 8th of November, 2003.

35.At 3.30pm on Saturday, 8th. November,2003, the Judge simply struck  out  the suit.

36.On Monday the 10th. of November,2003, the Residents filed  the Notice of Appeal and an application for stay ~ to prevent the demolition.

37.On Tuesday the 11th. of November,2003 the Land Office with the  Sunway Group & The Federal Reserve Unit descended on the village at  8.30am and with no Court Order what so ever, forcibly threw the  Residents & their belongings on the Road & hurriedly demolished their properties. It was over in two hours. Fifteen of the Twenty homes  evaporated.

38.On Tuesday the 18th.of November, 2003 at the Shah Alam High Court,  His Lordship Justice Dato’Suriady granted the Residents the stay from further demolition pending Appeal.

39.Before His Lordship, the Land Office & the Sunway Group admitted that  they demolished the houses without a proper Court Order.They further have offered to offer alternate housing for another one resident.

40.The above stay order has interalia recognized that it is unlawful for parties to demolish people's homes without due process of law.

41.On behalf of the residents, we are requesting the Commission to inquire  into the following:

a] Why did the Land Office refuse to process the legitimate applications for extension of leases?
b] Why did the Land Office deliberately, unlawfully & in obscene haste evict the Residents & demolish their homes?
c]  Why did the Police allow itself to abuse its powers without verifying the facts & demanding from the Land Office & the Sunway Group due compliance of the Law ?

We await you,
Thank You.

Yours Sincerely,

Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew
ADVISOR to the Sg.Chua Residents Representative Committee
(Prepared by M.J.Palan)" 


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP Selangor Chairman