Reprieve for house owner

Tension filled the air when 200 residents of Kampung Tanjung Tokong hurriedly gathered to protect a neighbour’s home when Urban Development Authority (UDA) Holdings Bhd workers and a tractor showed up to demolish the house.

The villagers were adamant that the house should remain standing and refused to allow UDA workers to knock down the house.

Police FRU personnel were deployed to maintain peace and order.

House owner 34-year-old Saadiah Ahmad said UDA officers, workers and the tractor arrived at about 10am to demolish her house.

“It is fortunate Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu arrived and spoke to the officers and they left,” she said yesterday.

“The prospect of having our home demolished is particularly traumatic for my seven children aged between one and 13.”

Saadiah said her house was home to 15 people and that she had been living there since birth.

“We grew up here and we don’t have any other places to go to if we move out,” she said.

Kampung Tanjung Tokong Residents’ Association chairman Mohd Salleh Yahaya, 59, said Saadiah received an eviction notice from the court on Nov 26 but was not informed that her house would be demolished.

“We are not compensated fairly but now our houses are being demolished,” he said.

“UDA claims that villagers here are squatters.”

Teh said he managed to convince UDA officers present at the scene to postpone the demolition when he arrived at noon.

“It is good they agreed to put off the demolition to a later date and I believe UDA will talk with the house owner soon,” he said. - By Logeiswary Thevadass (The Star)

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