MB Selangor should be ashamed for the Sg Chua Incident instead of blaming the effected residents and the opposition parties

Press Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): It was reported today that MB Selangor Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo in his reply to Dr Shafie (PAS- Adun Kajang) in yesterday's state assembly session had blamed the opposition party for instigating the residents of Sg Chua to bring the matter to court.

He also criticised the effected residents for asking RM30, 000 to RM 40, 000 each as compensation for their homes. He said that such demand were too much and not justifiable.

It's most unfair for Khir Toyo to make such remarks as I have personally written and spoken to him on the predicament of the Sg Chua residents soon after I was approached by the effected residents for assistance. Khir Toyo has even told me that he was not in a position to get better compensation for the residents since the SILK highway was a federal project.  He had also rejected my proposal, .e. to exercise his power to extend the leases
for residents who have applied for extension for years in order for them to seek their rightful compensation according to the market value of their properties under the 1996 Land Acquisition Act. He has even agreed with me the best way to claim the rightful compensation were probably by way of court action.

It's most unfortunate that 15 of the 20 effected houses were demolished unlawfully by the Selangor land office and developer (Sunway Infrastructure Bhd) on 11 Nov 2003 morning. The demolition was done without any court order but the Kajang Municipality and Police officers just allowed it to take place with no sense of law and order. They have even deployed no less than 50 FRU officers to assist the illegal operation. This was probably the biggest and best "testimony" for the new Prime Minister who was talking about nothing but good governance and caring society.

By the way, the residents have came to the DAP only after the local MCA MP Yap Pian Hon and State Assemblyman Hor Hee Lee had failed to fight for fair and rightful compensation for them. And the local MCA leaders were now fighting among themselves over the JKKK chairmanship, instead of helping the effected residents.

The Malaysian public should be informed that the effected families were said to be offered with only RM25, 000 each by the authority. This amount is far below the market value of the properties here. It's not even sufficient to buy a low cost unit ( RM42,000 per unit in Selangor)!

Some (not all of them) were said to be given a small plot of land to build a new home after DAP's intervention. This was stated in a letter issued by Malaysian Highway Authority ( LLM) . But there was no follow up on the land matter and the residents were still kept in the dark until today.

Khir Toyo in fact should be ashamed for not being able to help the Sg Chua residents, instead of attacking the residents and the opposition parties like the DAP. He had repeatedly said in the press that his government will renew the leases of the new villages in the state and he will never take back the land belong to them. He has also said that even lapsed leases will be renewed with a token penalty. But what had happened in Sg Chua was totally the opposite. He has allowed the applications of extension be lapsed without any justification and he also did not try his best to obtain rightful compensation for the residents. Why can't he just exercise his rights to extend those leases since it was entirely the fault of his land officers for sitting on those applications for years?

Even those who obtained the extension of leases in the same area were paid something much lower than the market rate. Some of them were making appeals with the High Court in accordance with the provision of the 1996 Land Acquisition Act. There was obviously a case of double standard as far as approval of extension of leases was concerned.

DAP lawyers and Selangor state leaders will continue to help the residents to fight for their rights in court. We are also seeking the PM Department and Suhakam to intervene and help.


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP Selangor Chairman