Residents in string of established settlements in Penang face eviction


Residents in some two dozen established settlements in Penang are reportedly facing eviction.

The settlements include the following:

– the 150-year old Kampung Siam in Pulau Tikus
– Pepper Estate in Tanjung Bungah
– Kampung Perda in Teluk Bahang
– Kampung Mutiara in Batu Ferringhi
– Kampung Chetty in Batu Ferringhi,
– Kampung Tanjung Bungah
– Kampung Pokok Asam
– Kampung Batu Uban
– Kampung Binjai in Bayan Lepas
– Kampung Tok Subuh in Seberang Prai
– Kampung Sungai Nyior in Butterworth, currently in the news.

And what kind of development are they having to make way for? Chances are, high-end condos, apartment and bungalows for the well heeled.

So where do these residents go? Is the compensation they receive sufficient for them to even buy a so-called “affordable” home? What if they are pensioners or even worse, retirees without any source of regular income?

I do wish people would stop using the term ‘squatters’ as that is a loaded term, usually used by developers, that tends to wittingly or unwittingly strip historical settlers of whatever rights they have. Personally, I prefer the more neutral ‘settlers’ or ‘urban pioneers’.

The state government says it is powerless to do anything about evictions, that it is a victim of federal laws – especially if property owners have not applied for planning permission, as such cases come under the jurisdiction of federal laws.

But I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. I believe the state government does and should have some clout. It can, for instance, declare that planning permission will not be approved if settlers on the land in question have been treated unfairly or not properly compensated with certain minimum terms, which can be specified. Alternatively, developers who do not treat settlers fairly could be blacklisted.

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  1. The Penang state government has made its unequivocal stand that it would not allow 1MDB to turn its fate around by building luxury properties on its vast 234-acre (98ha) “prime site” land bank in Air Itam, in line with its commitment to not allow federal agencies Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda) and JKP Sdn Bhd to include luxury-priced units on lands that have been acquired for affordable and public housing.

    • Mixed development to allow the rich and the poor to mingle and interact?

      How to trust 1MDB to build homes for the poor?

  2. This is the worldwide problem of urban “gentrification”. Since ancient times, economies including “democratic” ones such as Athens were built on exploitation. Under-paid, un-housed employees settle at the edges of a town. Over time, the size of the settlement and the number of small businesses serving it increases. Despite the politicians’ promises, the filth, pollution, criminal activity and lack of services/utilities also grows. At some point, the plutocracy finds the area too attractive. It imposes “development.” Most of the residents cannot afford this development, even when it is shoddy and lacks infrastructure. To neutralise opposition, a few flats at most may be allocated to the influential residents. If the residents refuse to make way, a fire or thugs may be utilised.

  3. The blog will definitely be devalued if one who could not rebut with reasons and logic but call others bodoh just because they have a different view and support the other sides. Could Pakatan be a valuable coalition if its defacto leaders calls other races like the Chinese bodoh and some Chinese supporters like it so much and we rebut he called them bodoh again. Is that the value that pakatoon is giving to this blog.

    • Yang, CAT’s “Got Money, Can Talk” definitely fits the ‘buncit’ mindset of minions & trollers out to redefine on ‘what?-kind-of-value’ basis. Only sweet, venerable words of praise as in a church pulpit will be admissible as full of sense nice to their ears. “Oh CAT, My Lord & Saviour (from whom?) For Self-Enrichment”
      Can’t blame such ballooned altered-ego trips for riding on a slippery Cosmo CAT’s back while scratching its Niao Kong fur 1440/24/7/365.

      Anil, I believe is smarter & ego-managed to stay true to himself in such a scheming game of politico mind-bending-corruption.

  4. With open eyes we know that Tunglang is not trying to lord over Anil`s. Nobody can lord over anybody even if you are a nobody less so the YAB CM. We must understand that the YAB is not the lord or anybody. He is not so great as he think he is. He is elected by the people and has proclaimed his so call CAT to the people. Many of us now know that the CAT motto has been compromised with … deceit which is why we must voice out. We cannot be like some ignorant fool that just because he like the CAT so much that he is willing to forgo his dignity and principle and disallowed us to make truthful comments against the CAT.. Some of usmay have also noted Anil diversion in his motto and Tunglang is reminding him of his principle. Someone is trying to playing the sympathy and bodek card which is useless nowadays.

    • And this CAT is copy cat to China Mao ZeDong. Whether it is a black or white CAT, as long as it catches the mouse it is a good CAT. I think this type of CAT is no more applicable in this globalized world. He is just outdated but some people here is just obsessed with outdated CAT no matter what, black or white cat, lame and ferocious cat or even cat that go senile biting people around even if it is the people that nurture and feed him. We have to get rid of this type of CAT

      • Cannot understand why such senseless and meaningless comments can appear here, really devalue the blog.

      • When the CAT is being compromised with deceit, you can still called it senseless. So are are condoning unaccounatbility, incompetency and no transparency. On top of that there is deceit in the state govt dealing of many project and you call that senseless. One can be considered senseless if one still support his idol even if his idol continue to do wrong, deceits …

  5. Dear tunglang, who do you think you are, lord over Anil ???

    Do you know your comment at 5 nov @ 9.47am sounds exactly like a person who makan cili rasa pedas.

    I am not saying pakatan govt is faultless but you seem good at bullying pg govt only !!!

    Anyway, this is the trait in chinese, they are only good at bullying their own!!! Shame !!!

    • Pandai-pandai perangai tak akan mengaku lakuan buncit kepala sendiri.

      Look at yourself in the mirror (The Dear Lord may help holding one full length for you)
      Look at yourself, are you not a Chinese? Ain’t you also a Chinese bully as you perceived in all Chinese?
      You also seem ultra-racist Chinese in multi-racial Malaysia. Sudah 57 tahun Merdeka, tapi masih berperangai phobia-kaum macam tu Katak Abraham.

      Anil, have I made you feel like a “Ya, Tuan” slave with just a timely reminder?
      In fact, I feel proud of your self-effacing response demeanour which attracts more readers from near & far & from both sides of the heated political divide.
      Keep up the good job (of allowing others to ‘hantam’ Niau Kong where appropriate & timely).
      This is what I expect of a Real Change (Ubah) with instils democratic principles of citizen rights of voices & not pandering to the pandai-pandai buncit kepala.

      Fascism is very real & is creeping into reality in Penang via this:
      a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.
      Demagogic –
      a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
      Don’t you think Niau Kong Kapitan Regime sounds, looks & behaves more like it?

      • Anwar a Malay like to call the Chinese bodoh. Another Anwar Chinese supporter like to call the Chinese bodoh. Is not that Chinese bullying the Chinese. Although I have PR in ang moh country, I want to migrate to a country like the Chinese area. It seem that he is stuck here most probably the Chinese there bully him back or he found here is better than there. If you look at his attitudes and comment, it smack of racism

    • How to bully that CAT when that CAT still has PPS?
      Who is Tunglang?
      Pls don’t say Chinese are bully. This is popular saying by Tuan Katak.
      Are you also Tuan Katak Kelawei?

      • Empat sekawan, (some) chinese are good at bullying their own kind only.
        They are cowards !!! My other chinese friends agree.

        I dont know what tuan katak says because i dont read him.

        Tunglang or tulang, i am colour blind otherwise we wont have a malay uncle, ya and so many malay friends. In our dictionary, there is no such word called malay nor chinese, we are abang adik, paham ?

      • Cakap Tak Serupa Bikini!

        Twist & turn like Sg Petani’s many U-turns!
        Hokkien popular saying: “kong lai kong khi, kong ka-ki”
        Ah Kee or Ah Kow sama-sama mulut.

        Cheers 4-Sekawan Sia Boey, lu si chia tung lang.

  6. Structurally what you are talking private personal rights vs property rights – its not only two different sets of law, its also under two different jurisdiction. States in Malaysia have no legal power on personal rights. The only legal avenue to address the problem for the State is property rights. What the state can do is recognize property rights of the “squatter” i.e., the buildings they construct. Give the CM the power to determine the value of the building they own that Federal Court has to recognize and then use it to bargain with the developer…

  7. 1MDB has bought RM1.38 billion worth of land at Air Itam to build affordable homes.
    Perhaps those evicted could be resettled here?

    • my family waited for this to happen, but may choose to move to Batu Kawan because unlikely BN can build low cost housing in Air Itam when the land is bought at such high price.

    • 1MDB had planned to build up to 10,000 units of affordable homes and also “other development purposes” to generate higher value for the 34-acre (98ha) “prime site” land it bought for RM1.38 billion.

      But CM LGE told 1MDB that it can only build affordable homes and not ‘other developments’ on that land.

      What say you, Anil?

  8. On 25 July 2014, in a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Astral Supreme Bhd said that since the signing of the joint-venture agreement with Zenith PMC Sdn Bhd on Aug 15, 2013, Astral Supreme Construction Sdn Bhd was unable to find consultants who could undertake the feasibility study project within the budget and the funding requirements.

    The agreement entails jointly carrying out a feasibility study and detailed design stage of the “Penang Mainroads and Tunnel Project”, involving the proposed construction of various roads in Penang and an undersea tunnel between Penang island and Seberang Prai.

    The state government should be aware that the undersea tunnel project requires an exceptional financial capacity in the same manner that building and operating such complex transportation assets require exceptional technical skills.

    The financial capacity of Zenith BUGC is essential for project acceptance by users and stakeholders. The state government must contract with an entity that stakeholders believe has the capacity to deliver its obligations under the contract.The level of trust that an agency bestows when granting long-term concession agreements and the responsibility of operating such an essential pieces of public infrastructure can only be assured if there is evidence that the vendor has the full financial capability to develop, finance and lead the project and manage it for the long term.

    However, in order to raise funds for this mega project, it is necessary to ensure that the existing studies in terms of technical and financial feasibility and more importantly the environmental and social analyses and the resettlement plans have been prepared and conducted according to the requirements usually prescribed by international funding organizations.

    If Astral Supreme Construction Sdn Bhd unable to find consultants who could undertake the RM305 million feasibility study project within the budget and the funding requirements. How could the state government expect Zenith Bucg Sdn Bhd to find consultants who could undertake the construction of the whole project with the same funding requirements at more than 20 times the cost of the feasibility study.

    There is no way, the tunnel can proceed without cash money. How can one accept a feasibility study that ignored the cash flow and financing problems of the tunnel project?

    While we debate about the feasibility of the project, 122 households in Kampung Bagan Ajam have been told to move out and make way for the tunnel project which might fail to take off due to funding problems.

    About fifty housholds have received the eviction notice from the developer Tah Wah Assets Sdn Bhd in November 2013 and had to vacate the place by August 2014 to make way for a development project either for a luxury condominium or a gateway into the underwater tunnel connecting Bagan Ajam and Gurney Drive on the island.

    The residents are offered with a measly and paltry compensation package of between RM7,000 and RM29,000 for each family.What the state government and the developer have failed to consider is that land acquisition brings in its wake debilitating social consequences for dependents. As if the pain of loss and the anxiety over livelihood were not enough, land acquisition, more often than not, also leads to the disintegration of the social and cultural ties that characterize a community’s relationship with land. How can the state government accept a compensation process that was not consistent with international human rights standards? It is an outrage that the residents of Kampung Bagam Ajam have been denied an effective remedy by the state government.

    It can not be denied that there are occasions such as major infrastructure projects where eviction cannot be avoided. However, evictions should never take place without a dialogue and solutions which are acceptable to all involved parties. If development is consistent with its aims to benefit the poor, then there really shouldn’t be any diff

  9. Anil, i believe you sincerely feel for the poor like most of us do but some are taking revenge on personal grouch… shame !!!

    Guys, flood the CM’s mail box if you really do care. Tq.

      • Anil, pls do remember clearly your motto: Let justice flow like a mighty river

        Not the Sg Pinang River fit for those who drink Black Tea for misty self-delusion post 308 & who cannot swallow the realities of ‘imperfection in idolism’ no matter how unpalatable / unsavoury but continue to live in CAT’s cloud nine. And worst of uncultured antics are those who deride & class-ified others as bodoh but they themselves as pandai-pandai.
        The harsh reality of check + balance is perfectly non-existence in their socio-political mindset of balanced score card (or report card). Instead of responsible “government for the people by the people”, euphoric worshipping (for whatever reason) has taken over for a fascist-style leadership in the making.
        No different from those ego-maniacs & opportunists who conveniently tell off others to migrate elsewhere so Penang Island is truly fit in every respect for the rich & famous like themselves or wannabes. Time will tell which way Penang destiny goes.

        Do remember this very clearly, there many fearless NGOs, conservationists & socialist-fighters around who TRULY know their stuffs, not knee-jerking in a spur of the moment. Who are not intoxicated & drunk like those who only think in material terms for self-indulgence sans social conscience & pre-308 dreams for all strata (class) of society. Don’t play play.

        Anil, can you still reflect clearly (every word) in your mission & vision for
        Or is it out of bound for the bodoh-bodoh?
        I hope No Money, No Talk is not in your syllable of justice. Neither is it an influence in your socio-political balanced score card.

        Note: Mad Hatterism is still alive + kicking & not relegated to retirement in Helang Island.
        It has taken in other forms of madness or Saka-ed to the willing (like political worshipping, so no need to apologise to the Lord) in social-class divide, discriminate & God know what.

  10. Only rich people for Penang island and where they are going to get poorer folks to serve them if the latter are evicted out of island?

    • No need for locals, ‘wai lao’ can do the low jobs for the richie.
      We can’t blame the richie. We can’t tell them how to live. They have the means to enjoy life, but the way the state is developing mostly for the richie is lop-sided & unsavoury. Social engineering thro’ skewed economic opportunities & population-class displacement, & home ownership a dream in an increasingly home-rental society will widen the divide between the haves & have-nots. And worst, some richie will soon dictate to the politicians how to run the state & steer the economy to their favours, e.g. the developers’ surreal property price mechanism, which is much like the oil cartels without scrutiny but arm-twisting manoeuvres.
      For some tycoons with economic-political expedience, they may take the advantage to strike favourable bargains like swap deals with the state gomen ‘dying’ for money to develop the state. Soon the divine mission & vision of state development will look more like coming out of the developers’ office with the state leadership acting like office boy.

      We vote for a caring state gomen, not a proxy-gomen for some rich & powerful.
      Fed Money Not Enough is not a good excuse to prostrate like a lion carpet to welcome unsavoury development at socio-economic costs.
      Note: this is solely my perception of a Niao Kong gomen since 308.

      • The problem is your perception could be considered as bodoh by some if it is not in line with their supporting like the Nia Kong. That is the problem now facing our country and people.

  11. Anil, previously developers will only kick the ‘squatters’ out when they submit development plan to the council. Council will then make sure they compensate the squatters properly, that is free of any encumbrance before giving approval for development. Now it seems that developers have learned their lesson. They will kick the ‘squatters’ out first, months before any development plan is drawn up. Smart eh?

      • MPPP have no rights to counter. MPPP is only to approve plan as in accordance to the law. The squatters cannot demand. They either accept or see the Cheap Minister to solve it for them. The Cheap Minister in their election campaign promise this and that. Now we can see how cheap and low they can go

      • Or they can be like the students occupying the land or areas illegally just like in Hong Kong or what the student will be doing in UM. And when police come to evict them forcibly then blame BN, Gerakan UMNO MCA and tell the world that the rights have been infringed and the BN govt police are like hooligan. This is what the Western NGO would like to see couple with the local that thought they are smart and some guys that will say we are all bodoh when its our land and properties.


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