Published on: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: The demolition of the squatter homes at Jalan Syarif Osman and Bukit Punai has been delayed till Sept 13 this year, following various appeals from the residents.
Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir said on humanitarian grounds the residents were allowed to remain in their squatter houses until the completion of the new settlement in Kinarut under the People's Housing Project undertaken by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
The decision for the postponement was decided in a meeting in City Hall on Thursday, chaired by Madingkir, who had called for the meeting on short notice, to discuss and find a place for the affected squatters to stay.
The squatters were initially asked to vacate their homes on Aug 21 but they appealed for an extension.
Present in the meeting were representatives from various agencies including the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, High Court, Housing and Town Planning Board, Land and Survey Department and Public Works Department among others.
The representative from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing had earlier informed the committee that the People's Housing Project houses are expected to be completed by Sept 13.
He also said that the Ministry has confirmed they have a place for all the squatters from Jalan Syarif Osman and Bukit Punai, adding that Jalan Syarif Osman, Off Jalan Kolam is the site of the new High Court building.
Census carried out by City Hall found there are 47 houses involving 50 families at Jalan Syarif Omar, but some have already moved.
Another 18 homes were found to have been erected at Bukit Punai across the road.
Apart from extending the demolition period, the representative from the Ministry said that transportation will be provided by the developer to the squatters when they move to the new settlement in Kinarut.
As in other People's Housing Project, the representative added that the squatters from Jalan Syarif Osman and Bukit Punai would be required to pay rental fees including utilities bills when they move to the new homes.
Come Sept 13, the squatters would be asked to vacate their homes and demolition exercise by City Hall would also begin the same day.
Meanwhile, the Mayor said the Petagas riverbank is not within City Hall's rating area but under the jurisdiction of the Putatan District Council.
He was commenting on the statement by former State Attorney General, Tan Sri Herman Luping regarding the mountains of rubbish piling up along the Petagas river in the local dailies on Friday.