Pandamaran residents win case to dismiss eviction order

Alex Woon
Published: Oct 15, 2021 3:25 PM

A group of residents in Pandamaran won a case at the Shah Alam High Court yesterday to dismiss an eviction order filed by a local developer against them last year.

Klang MP Charles Santiago and Pandamaran assemblyperson Leong Tuck Chee held a press conference this morning alongside lawyers John Fam and Freida Santhiago to announce the residents’ victory.

Hailing this as a rare case where the court sided with the occupiers of the land, Charles criticised the developer over filing an eviction order last November during the pandemic.

He said the residents along Jalan Papan have been staying there for generations.

Negotiations between the state government, residents, and the developer Melati Ehsan Holdings Bhd to build replacement housing units were still ongoing last November when the residents suddenly received an eviction order.

“These are people who have stayed there for many years, and they are poor people who are still living there.

“But at the height of the pandemic, (the developer) in a very poor fashion, asked (the residents) to leave,” Charles (above) said.

Finally convinced

Commenting on the case, Santhiago said she and her team argued in the court that the residents cannot be termed squatters, hence Order 89 of the Rules of Court 2012 (Eviction of Squatters) filed by the developer was not valid.

She said assurances were given by various authorities to the residents in the past over Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL).

The supply of water, electricity, phone lines, postal address to the residents was also evident that they are not squatters.

“They have been occupying the land for over 80 years, yet no action was taken to evict them from the land,” she added.

Santhiago said the judge was finally convinced through their arguments that the residents are not squatters and struck out the eviction order filed by Melati Ehsan.

Repeatedly stalled promises

Meanwhile, Jalan Papan residents association chairperson Teoh Ah Guat claimed the developer repeatedly stalled promises to build them replacement housing units, and urged the state government’s intervention.

“This issue has been dragging for very long. (The developer) has agreed to build us the houses, but they haven’t given us anything.

“Then they suddenly gave us a lawyer’s notice. It wasn’t fair to us.

“I hope the state government will take action on this issue and help us out,” she said at the press conference.

The Jalan Papan issue can be stretched back to the 1990s when then Selangor menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib promised the residents he would approve 1,000 TOL during the 1995 general election campaign.

However, the land was given to TPPT Sdn Bhd after the election, a non-profit subsidiary of Bank Negara Malaysia.

In 2007, TPPT sold the land to Melati Ehsan, the current developer, at a price of RM32 million, and the latter promised to build replacement units for the residents.

Now that the court has quashed the eviction order, negotiations for replacement units are still ongoing nonetheless, and an agreement is expected to be reached by the end of the month, according to the lawyer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *