Now, Kampung Siam residents face eviction from land bequeathed by Queen Victoria

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Another colonial-era village in Penang is set to be flattened – Kampung Siam of Pulau Tikus (behind the Pulau Tikus Police Station).

According to a villager, residents, including those who have lived up to six generations on the land, have received eviction letters dated 23 April from a legal firm representing a developer, giving them 30 days to vacate the land.

Documents indicate the land was orginally bequeathed by the East India Company on behalf of Queen Victoria to the Siamese and Burmese communities in 1845.

Kampung Siam LandTitleDeed_1845

The land was supposed to be bequeathed in perpetual ownership of the joint communities. It included a prohibition “to grant, bargain, sell, assign, transfer, convey or otherwise alienate the said piece of ground or any part of parcel thereof…” The land “shall remain, continue and be for the benefit of the Burmese and Siamese community of Prince of Wales Island and its dependencies from henceforth for ever…”

Observers are now baffled as to how the land was then sold to developers.

The original plot stretched from behind the police station to the Reclining Buddha temple. But along the way, around 2000, the land was divided into two plots, one managed by Burmese trustees and the other by the Thai trustees.

A Burmese Society building was put up in the area under the Burmese trustees. Rent was imposed on the villagers but rental collection stopped in 2008.

Kampong Siam newspaper cutting

The plot was further subdivided and Kampung Siam lies in the affected tract, which includes a dozen houses and a few small shops facing Burmah Road. The tract, about the size of a football field, was then sold to a developer in mainland Penang, who then sold it to another developer, the lawyers for whom have now sent out the eviction notices.

The residents now want a closer scrutiny of the relevant documents and the land transactions to find out how this could have happened.

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benny1977ooi@ymail.com

Kampung Siam villagers ask for compassion as they are forced to leave their ancestral homes:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/kampung-siam-villagers-ask-for-compassion-as-they-are-forced-to-leave-their

IT Shiess

The DAP claims to be “democratic socialist”, but what rubbish is that, when they prioritise property developers over people!

I am part Thai and I am very upset with the DAP over this state government of Penang over this.

Ganason

All the frustrations and anger are understandable. But blaming the State Government will not solve the problem. Once the title to the land has been issued and dealings on the land has been registered, our system of land registration under the National Land Code 1966 and National Land Code (Penang and Malacca Titles) Act 1963 does not allow the State Authority to intervene in disputes over indefeasibility of title and claims of ownership between competing claimants. No matter how unjust it may appear, only the Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to make a decision on matters falling under section 340, National… Read more »

Don Anamalai

Any legacy from Queen Victoria is no longer relevant after Merdeka?
The local authority is systematically erasing any trace of colonialism…

kee

Ganason, are you a lawyer, please help them. I doubt they know how to go about it. They need help. Tqvm !!!

Ganason

I am not a lawyer but I know a bit on land laws and would love to contribute my ideas on this very sad problem. I hope and pray this is not another Boonsom Boonyanit vs Adorna Properties or Kg.Palas type of case.

OM Saigal

CAP, retired/learned lawyers of M’sia including Vohrah brothers should come forward to fight against the money-mad system including the ones we once supported.Send a strong petition to the descendents of Queen Victoria immediately……..

Batu Ferringhian

Can Penang Forum help? This is VERY bad…
Please let us know how we can stop the eviction

kleesant

Others who were forced off their land, which was then transferred to private parties, include Carcosa and Majestic Hotels, 2nd Link farmers, plantation workers, and natives all over (especially most of the interior of Sabah).

Vincent Ang

You do not own land in Malaysia. As a matter of fact no citizen of any country in the world owns land. We merely own the right to use and sell the right to use a particular piece land. However, one can still own buildings.

Ganason

You are correct Vincent. You are merely the “proprietor” of your lot of land, not the Yang Dipertuan Agong of the lot. You are subject to all the restrictions of the National Land Code and also other laws such as the Local Government Act, Petroleum Development Act, Mining Ordinance just to name a few. Your rights are only limited to the use of the surface of the land as specified in the category of land use and conditions in the title and local authority by-laws. You don’t even have any right to the minerals or even petrol under your land!… Read more »

Jj

Thank you for the useful info. How does one confirm whether the land is first grade or not? I understand that it is normally mentioned in the grant but I have seen grants that do not mention first grade but has clauses such as the right to what is beneath the land. Would the land, in such a case, be still considered first grade?

Ganason

Hi JJ, You need to confirm this with the Land Office where the land is situated and Pengarah Tanah dan Galian, Pulau Pinang, KOMTAR.

Priyanka

Penang island land for condos & shopping malls.

Kampung Siam can be turned into Siam Square Shopping heaven specialized in Thai Food, Thai Massage, Thai Karaoke & may be Thai boxing. Truly “Aroi” !

Yang

Anil, I notice that the letter is just a sumpah. It is not legal binding document.

Yang

And anybody can simply make a sumpah with RM4.00 paid to the Commissioner of Oath for the services

Ernie

In Malaysia, if you have been living on a land not belonging to you, better have an ‘exit strategy’ before eviction hit you.

Yang

Don`t ext so fast. Try to get the most out of it using whatever politicians there is. After all what are politicians for. You just might get lucky like the KB Pala folks. A 700k house

Ganason

Under the National Land Code and National Land Code (Penang and Melacca Titles) Act 1963, the person or body registered for the time being as the proprietor on the title to the land, is the owner of the land. His rights are indefeasible and can only be challenged under section 340, National Land Code. Anyone occupying the land, no matter for how many generations, are considered squatters under the National Land Code, that is, no one can acquire any right to the land merely by occupying the land even if the land owner does nor exercise his rights over the… Read more »

Kevin

Anil, I know they had a piece of document which was considered a legal document at that time but I doubt it is still recognised today. What I think Ganason is saying is that if your name is not registered as the and owner by the land office and on the land title issued by the current land office, then you are not the owner of the land regardless. And the word Burmese or Siamese community seems pretty vagues to me and that document was not well written to being with. How do you define someone as part of the… Read more »

Ganason

The problem of Kg Siam must be understood in the context of the history of Penang. Land alienated by the East India Company and the subsequent British colonial administration was under the old English deed system and not in the form of titles. Evidence of ownership and transfer of land was in the form of deeds between the owner and purchaser. This deed system was replaced by the Torrens System of land registration with effect from 1 January 1966, with the simultaneous coming into force of the National Land Code (Penang and Malacca Titles) Act 1963 ( NLC Pg &… Read more »

Yang

If I am not mistaken that is Kampong Serani which many have vacated many years ago. Its still left to some who have not move out. Well as usual in the early days many settled in land not of their own but owned by someone else for which they pay a certain amount of premium. Previously land prices are low so many who inherited it would not sell it. Now that land prices are so high, you cannot blame them for wanting to sell the land and become instant millionaires. Even temple trustees who are given trust to the land… Read more »

Tay Soon Poh

……fruad invo3ved????? another A… Properties ?????

Christopher Chong

they want to turn it into a mall or luxury condo?