Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Squatters need new home fast - The Star

Jun 3, 2008

AN iced drink seller who has to care for three paralysed siblings is running short of time to move into a suitable home before their squatter home gets demolish-ed by the developer of the RM12.4bil electrified double track project from Ipoh to Padang Besar.

Salasiah Asri, 40, a divorcee, said she and her brothers Ahmad Arbain, 36, Mohd Ali, 26, and Mohd Isa, 27, who are paralysed from the waist down, lived in one of the 279 illegally built houses on land belonging to KTM Berhad off Jalan Sehala in Tai-ping.

They have been given until July 26 to move and Salasiah has been un-able to find a cheap home which would be suitable for her disabled brothers.

She added most of the houses for rent would cost between RM300 and RM350 a month.

“The cheapest place I could find was a Kampung Boyan flat which costs RM200 a month to rent but it is on the third floor of a six-storey walk-up block and is unsuitable for my three wheelchair-bound bro-thers,” she said.

Salasiah, who also has her two children and a sister Hasnah, 32, living with her, said she hoped a housing developer would come forward to help her find an affordable and suitable home to rent.

She said her brothers received a combined monthly allowance of RM300 from the state Welfare De-partment while Hasnah who work-ed as a cleaner at a private medical centre earns RM150 a month.

Salasiah said the RM1,000 ex-gratia offered by the state government to displaced ground tenants was only enough to cover three months of rent and utilities’ de-posit.

They were also promised a monthly rental of RM300 per month for two years.

The Perak Government also pled-ged to provide a plot of land at village settlements for displaced families to rebuild their homes within two years.

A source from the district office said the authorities would start de-molishing from June 27 so as not to further delay the double track project undertaken by MMC-Gamuda JV.

The alignment for the 329km Ipoh-Padang Besar double track project will cut across the four northern states. The project is scheduled for completion by January 7, 2013.

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