MRT project: Chinatown traders slam SPAD for broken promise

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 01, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Jalan Sultan traders, who risk losing property to the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT), have slammed the public transport regulator for going back on its promise to leave their buildings intact.

Spokesman Judy Tan said the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) should not have reneged on its promise to allow landowners to return to their buildings once construction of the planned station and tunnel under Jalan Sultan is finished.

“From what I understand, SPAD has no right to imply that the affected owners in Chinatown will stand to lose their properties,” she told The Malaysian Insider via e-mail.

“This should be said directly to our Jalan Petaling/Jalan Sultan committee at the recent closed-door dialogue with SPAD and not 24 hours later at another unrelated event.”

SPAD had reportedly told traders, whose land would be acquired, they could hold on to their property at a closed-door meeting on August 23 brokered by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The commission had earlier insisted it would have to demolish buildings within the corridor of the station and tunnel prior to construction to ensure public safety given their age and uncertain soil conditions.

“The government will proceed with acquisition but also strengthen the buildings that are affected for safety of the household,” Dr Chua had told reporters after the meeting, calling it a win-win situation.

But SPAD chief executive Mohd Nur Ismail Kamal told The Malaysian Insider the next day there was “no guarantee” the 31 Jalan Sultan landowners affected by the acquisition there will be able to return to their property, while stressing that the regulator was still working on a solution.

Tan further warned in her e-mail that if acquisition and demolition were carried out in the historic Chinatown enclave as originally planned, “no Malaysian is safe”.

“We are just one of the unfortunate ones. If this acquisition goes through, no Malaysian is safe. If the government can destroy 100-plus years of heritage and history, what would stop them from acquiring more?” she asked.

She also criticised the government for its haphazard planning, pointing out that the Jalan Sultan traders had only been informed of the land acquisition some two weeks ago.

“Coincidentally, both victims in Chinatown and [Bukit Bintang] also experienced short notices from the authorities. Where are we going to go in such a short time?” she lamented.

“Even to relocate our business takes time, not to mention we have mouths to feed. Is there any truth to our PM’s slogan ‘rakyat didahulukan’?”

Outgoing KVMRT project owner Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) said last Monday that 20 lots in Bukit Bintang, the capital’s main shopping district, will be acquired to make way for tunnelling work and an underground station.

Disgruntled owners have accused the government of robbing their prime land in the Golden Triangle.

SPNB project development director Zulkifli Mohd Yusoff, however, has said that the government could not develop the land without acquiring it first due to safety concerns over the tunnel.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 10:20 am

    The issue is very simple. Its either they respect private property or they don’t. If they take the property, then we officially cross the lexicon to being in an autocracy. This country then no longer belongs to its citizen. Citizens are no longer the bosses.

    Its time to kick all the ursurpers of our country and our rights..

  2. #2 by Cinapek on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 10:58 am

    CSL/MCA, why the deafening silence? You thought you had a golden opportunity to play the knight in shining armour and what happened? A fat ex UMNO minister and a few Little Napoleons in SPAD cut your legs from under you? And you do not even dare to let out a squeak? Hisham blames MCA for BN’s 2008 election fiasco and now these little Napoleons are also rubbing your face in mud. Clearly their opinion of you and MCA is zero. If you and MCA has any pride and backbone left, get out from BN. By staying in BN you are not only doing an injustice to MCA but also shame all Chinese because UMNO and their minions has no respect for you and MCA anymore.

  3. #3 by asia on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 11:10 am

    They should group up as a team

    Don’t deal this matter individually

    Deal with this matter as a group STRONGER

  4. #4 by dagen on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 11:40 am

    Do not question umno on the mrt acquisition issue. Just give up your homes and properties as told. Otherwise you would be treated as challenging their ketuanan rights; as anti-agung and anti-islam jenis-umno; as communist and terrorist; and as unpatriotic and ungrateful.

    You got your citizenship right. Now just shut up.

    … dagen speaking in his capacity as the latest secretly engaged multi-million dollar publicity agent of jibby the jib.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 1:10 pm

    Don’t blame Soiled Leg for this fiasco.

    He is too busy ordering a golden sofa from gaddafi to be presented to his darlin’ Angela

  6. #6 by tak tahan on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 1:39 pm

    dagen,how to give up our homes?Furthermore we ‘re not allowed to build one on top of Rambutan tree.Kek sim la..where to stay ar?

  7. #7 by k1980 on Thursday, 1 September 2011 - 3:17 pm

    Jib says, ” No need bimbang one. These Jalan Sultan traders will be sent to the former Pulau Bidung Refugee Camp for Vietnamese. Free food and accommodation provided by the kind malaysian govt. And remember, while you are there, keep a close eye for american ships. If you spot one, quickly jump into the sea and yell for rescue. Then you will be accorded refugee status, taken to San Francisco and allowed to open your shops there. So kind of me, huh?”

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