Kg Railway belongs to developer, says court
| October 31, 2012
The decision paves the way for the eviction of 153 residents.
The decision dismayed the current residents of the area, and their lawyer said he would file an appeal soon.
“The developer is the owner of the land, and by that virtue, they emerge the absolute owners irrespective of how and why they came to be the owners,” Justice Zabariah Yusof said in chambers.
Sentul Raya, a subsidiary of YTL Corporation, initiated the case last year. It sought a court order to evict Kampung Railway’s 153 residents, claiming they were trespassers.
The residents say they have the right to remain there by virtue of their being descendants of former Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) employees who began settling there in 1885.
They have also called on the government to turn the land into an Indian heritage site.
Commenting on the court decision, Hindraf youth chief S Thiagarajan said the judge had failed to consider what he called the “rich history” of Kampung Railway and its residents.
He also criticised the alleged haste in which the case was disposed of. “Despite the residents having over 100 witnesses and producing historical documents, the judge didn’t even grant a full trial,” he said.
“Justice hurried is justice buried, especially when it involves the Indian poor.”
He also questioned the Federal Territories Land Office’s refusal to give a detailed explanation of how the land was transferred from KTMB to Sentul Raya “without anyone’s knowledge”.
“We notice that private developers are acquiring railway land for pittance,” he said. “The Land Office’s reluctance to show us the transaction records only creates more suspicion.”
Kampung Railway settlers submit memo to MP
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