For Salehuddin b Abdul Manaf, 60 and his daughter Norhaslin, receiving RM500.00 as compensation for the land and home that their family have occupied for over 3 generations, was devastating.
The cheque, dated April 25, 2014 was subsequently returned to the issuer.
“I don’t even know the person who received the cheque on our behalf,” says Norhaslin who was made administrator to the property on the passing of her mother.
“We have occupied this land since the Forties and we had applied for and were given the right to occupy under a ‘temporary occupation license’, which we had diligently been renewing until 1998 when the land office concerned informed us that the license could no longer be renewed,” said Salehuddin because the land was to be transferred to a state government company for development.
“Under Schedule 5B, Section 434 of the National Land Code, we are entitled to compensation because we discovered through the Public Complaints Bureau that the property was transferred to a government linked company in 1997 while they still had a valid license to the property,” said Norhaslin.
|Norhaslin Salehuddin (L). Salehuddin Abdul Manaf (R)|
"But now, we don't know who the developers are," said Salehuddin.
“The RM500.00 is an unreasonable amount for compensation. It defies logic,” she continued.
On Oct 21, 2014 Norhaslin wrote to the land office expressing her objection to the compensation, saying that it was unreasonable. And on November 10, 2014 the Menteri Besar’s office wrote to the land office requesting for clarification. And this is where it stands currently.
It has been 17 years of frustration, going in and out of the land office pursuing what they feel is their right as citizens of Johor. But the state government seemingly wants to sweep them aside as ‘piece of nuisance’, favouring developers over the ‘small person’.
Clearly, there are property developments going on around the area approaching their former home; some are already completed – apartments and a hotel with other areas already boarded with hoarding and billboards advertising property developments that will soon alter the landscape of this once riverine village.
For now Salehuddin and his daughter will have to wait for the response by the land administer to the querry from the Menteri Besar’s office.
The property is located at Kampung Bakar Batu, Mukim Plentong, Johor Bahru.