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Labuan settlers appeal for extension to vacate area
Published on: Thursday, February 22, 2024
By: Sohan Das
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Labuan settlers appeal for extension to vacate area
Muis began its demolition of the illegal structures on its over 13 hectares in Kampong Gersik/Saguking last November after issuing a six-month advance notice starting from May 22 before taking any action. - Bernama pic
LABUAN: Some 500 illegal settlers at Kampong Gersik are appealing to the Sabah Islamic Religious Council (Muis) to extend the given deadline of Feb 28 2024 to vacate from the area stating that they were unable to find alternate houses with affordable rental and need time.

Acting as spokesman for the group Omar Abbang said: “We respect the decision of Muis and thank them for enduring with us for years. We are appealing for compassion on our plight as we face the prospect of being homeless in the present situation”.

“We are not questioning the decision of Muis as being the landlords as it was their right to seek vacant possession of their property but since there were no immediate development plans for Gersik we hope a favourable solution would be found for our dilemma.

“We don’t intend to occupy Gersik forever, just that we needed more time to find a place to treat the case with humanitarian values, next month being fasting month it would add to our misery to be without shelter,” he said.

According to Omar, there are about 200 structures remaining at Gersik with 500 occupants including women, children and the aged.

He said 80 per cent are Malaysian citizens or with PR while the remaining hold IMM 13 or other documents and are a source of labour supply to local businesses.

Muis began its demolition of the illegal structures on its over 13 hectares in Kampong Gersik/Saguking last November after issuing a six-month advance notice starting from May 22 before taking any action.

After 67 of the illegal structures were demolished following appeals, Muis halted action and granted a three-month postponement as requested by some of the dwellers. This deadline will expire end of the month and demolition is expected to resume in March.

The slum area was viewed as a potential risk to inhabitants and also posed a challenge to infrastructure planning and development.

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