Mansor said this was similar to the case of Kampung Terang in Balik Pulau where two Umno leaders were criticised for allegedly making a quick profit by selling a plot belonging to the Malay community, which the duo had denied.
He said this during a meeting with the 22 villagers of Batu Uban who had received eviction notices from a bumiputera developer on the eve of Hari Raya, and who were told to vacate their land by Merdeka Day.
He cited other instances where the previous state government disposed of land which resulted in eviction of villagers including in Kampung Buah Pala, Sungai Nibong, and several plots in Seberang Perai.
“It has become a trend that developers do this – evicting residents without proper compensation – but we have managed to resolve these problems as the current administration is sensitive to these issues.
“It is their (developers) right to claim their land, they can get a court order to do it but it is also the right of the state government not to develop the land. So, please discuss with us and don’t be driven by incitement,” he added.
“They went to Umno and when they found themselves in trouble with no help, then they came to us,” he lamented during the meeting, also attended by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Lim was accompanied by state assemblypersons S Raveentharan (Batu Uban), Sim Tze Tzin (Pantai Jerejak), PAS land and development bureau chief Iszuree Ibrahim and PKR strategy bureau director Cheah Kah Peng.
The developer’s lawyer, in the eviction letters, claimed that discussion with the villagers, which begun three years ago, have been concluded and the latter had rejected the offer.
During his speech, Raveentharan said he was currently discussing with the developer’s lawyer to ensure that the 700 sq ft replacement units are secured, adding that the offer includes RM6,000 to move out and in again plus RM500 per month as rental during the construction period.
“Twenty-two families out of 48 refused the offer as they are questioning the transit homes. I will personally see to it that the matter gets resolved,” he added.
Batu Uban, a living heritage
But Cheah (right) said that the villagers fear that once they have accepted the money to rent a place elsewhere, they might never get a replacement unit in the same village.
“In the spirit of Aidilfitri, I urge both parties to renegotiate within a time frame and this time to commit the agreement on paper as that at least would assure the villagers and provide a sense of certainty,” he added when met after the session.
Earlier this year, Umno Pulau Betong assemblyperson Muhammad Farid Saad has been in the forefront lobbying for Batu Uban to be gazetted as a “living heritage”area, urging that any development in the area be halted.
Farid had said he would approach Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim and Heritage Department commissioner Zuraina Majid to see if the proposed heritage village status could become a reality.