YTL subsidiary wins claim to Kg Railway Sentul land
- Hafiz Yatim
- 10:16AM Oct 31, 2012
The High Court in Kuala Lumpur has granted vacant possession to the site Kampung Railway, Sentul, to a subsidiary of YTL Corporation following a dispute over ownership of the land.
Ruling in favour of Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd, Justice Zabariah Yusof found that the 153 residents who claimed ownership have failed to prove this.
She ruled the residents had failed to prove indefeasibility of the land title as the plaintiff (Sentul Raya) was the registered landowner.
“The residents do not have licence for the land, and following this the court allows the application for the plaintiff to have vacant possession,” Justice Zabariah decided in chambers..
The court also ordered the residents to pay RM7,000 as costs.
The residents – about 50 of whom were in court – had staked ownership based on 120 years of occupation of the site dubbed‘Indian Settlement’.
Lawyer P Uthayakumar, representing 30 residents, described the ruling as an unfortunate decision.
The village had been part of the nucleus of the railway system, Uthayakumar said, and the residents want the government to declare it a heritage area.
"It is also unfortunate that the government has given the property to a giant multinational at the expense of the residents. The residents have indicated they will appeal," he said.
Those affected plan to hold a meeting tonight.
Sentul Raya, which was bought over by YTL in 1997, was represented by B Thangaraj.
Suit filed last December
The company last December sought a c ourt order to evict the residents from Kampung Railway, claiming to be the rightful owner of the land and that the settlers were trespassers, with no authority or permission to be on the land.
The residents argued they had stayed on the land, which previously belonged to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), for about 120 years, some of them now fourth generation residents.
Uthayakumar questioned how Sentul Raya became the registered owner of the prime railway reserve land, said to be worth billions of ringgit at today’s prices.
He had penned an article titled “Last Ponggal at Kampung Railway Sentul Indian settlement” earlier this year, highlighting the plight of the residents of villagel, the first railway workers settlement in the country.
Uthayakumar wrote that locomotives, coaches and railway tracks were assembled and later repaired and maintained at the village.
Local dailies had reported earlier that Deputy Federal Territories Minister M Saravanan was disappointed that YTL had reneged on the 1994 promise made by Sentul Raya build low-cost houses for the Kampung Railway Sentul residents.
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