A negotiation session this morning between PKNS Kampung Kerinchi residents and the authorities was disrupted when a student activist was attacked.
According to a male eyewitness, believed to be a resident, student Adam Adli was punched while he was at the four-storey low-cost apartment block that has been slated for demolition.
Adam ( right ) and fellow student activist Ekhsan Bukhari were reportedly inspecting the premises when the incident took place.
The student activist, who had previously courted controversy for lowering a banner of Umno chief Najib Razak during a student rally at Umno headquarters, suffered injuries to his face.
When contacted by Malaysiakini , Adam confirmed that he had been attacked and suffered injuries, and was lodging a police report at the Jalan Pantai Baru police station.
Met later, he said students were approached by residents yesterday and were asked to support their cause to delay the demolition, so he and fellow students went to monitor the situation.
“We sat on the sidelines and did not interfere because the issue is still unclear. We just watched to see what would happen,” he said.
However, while leaving one of the flats where occupants were being evicted by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) officers, he was confronted by a group that had gathered to support the demolition.
Adam said he was attacked twice, but he is unsure whether he was injured in the second attack as he was already dazed from the first one.
He was injured in the left eye, cheek and lips, and his eye was still red and swollen when met about two hours after the incident.
'Police stood by'
He added that only the residents tried to intervene while police stood by, and he was taken to the police station by an aide to Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Meanwhile, his companion Ekhsan Bukharee was taken to the same police station by a patrol car for about an hour, supposedly for his own safety. He said his details were recorded but no statement was taken from him.
“During the hour, I just sat there,” he said, and expressed regret that those involved in the attack were not arrested.
About 20 police officers on site, including at least six Light Strike Force officers, moved in to form a line separating two opposing groups of residents shortly after the scuffle.
After speaking to reporters, Adam went to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre for treatment.
34 families being evicted under land law
The NGO Pihak Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas) had invited the media to Kampung Kerinchi this morning to highlight the plight of 34 families who are being evicted by developers and the Land Office in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act 1960.
However, during the outdoor press conference by Kampung Kerinchi Action Committee member Mohd Idros Tokiran, Permas chairperson Tan Jo Hann ( left ), and Nurul, a group of about 70 gathered about 30 metres away in support of the demolition.
The group, led by Kampung Kerinchi Flat Resident’s Association chairperson Ahmad Rahman, claimed to represent 443 families of former residents who had already moved out.
They accused the 34 families of stalling development of the area many times over two years, and claimed they were unable to obtain promised new houses as a result.
Ahmad said that the developer, Suez Domain Sdn Bhd, had relocated the residents to temporary government housing at PPR Muhibah and PPR Cempaka at no cost to them, and were promised 882 square feet units with amenities in Kampung Kerinchi once the development is complete, compared to the about 410 square feet per unit on the soon-to-be-demolished flats.
“We have legal channels. You want a higher compensation, go to court. They have already filed the case in court, so get out.
“They have already taken the RM73,000 compensation, but they still don’t want to move. For us who have already moved, are we supposed to wait longer for this project?” said Ahmad, prior to the scuffle.
However, Mohd Idros ( centre in photo ) said that they were not against development but wanted more time to arrange for the move, because the two-week eviction notice was too short.
They were supposed to vacate by 9.30am this morning.
“How are we supposed to move in two weeks? We also have kids who will be sitting for SPM this year,” said Mohd Idros.
They want a July 1 deadline instead, but were only to obtain a one-week reprieve after negotiating with DBKL and Federal Territory Land and Menerals Department officials who had come to enforce the eviction and start demolition. The residents intend to continue negotiations for the new deadline.
Mohd Idros also said besides not being given the keys to their new houses, they found out that their records were missing from DBKL’s database when they went to pay their April rent, despite the developer having paid for the March rent on their behalf and giving City Hall’s receipts to the residents.
“Therefore we are afraid to move because we are worried that some sort of deceit is going on,” he said.
While at the flats, Malaysiakini also met business owners operating from shophouses at the flats.
Kampung Kerinchi Flats Shop Houses Committee chairperson Rosli Ahmad said that nine of the 10 shophouses in the area had been renting their premises for about 20 years.
When told to move, he said that the shophouses renters were offered to rent either a public housing lot, or a temporary stall, but not both.
On the other hand, he alleged that squatters operating business were given both.
Rosli said stalls are not suitable for his contracting office, while fellow committee member Ismail Ma’on, who runs a shoe and clothes repair shop, complained that his new home on the 16th floor of a flat was not conducive for business.
Ismail also said he would have to abandon some of his stock if forced to move, because there is not enough room at his home.