MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Eviction looms for Labuan villagers again

The fate of villagers in Kampung Gersik, Labuan who are facing eviction this week, is once again up in the air.

The eviction process which began on Nov 23 last year was soon halted and villagers were given until Feb 28 to find new homes before the eviction process continues, Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul Rahman told Malaysiakini earlier.

However, villagers’ action committee chairperson Omar Abbang said they are still unclear about their fate.

They are living on land owned by the Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah (Muis) and were served a notice dated May 22, 2023.

“We were contacted by an aide to Suhaili who said that they are in touch with the chief executive officer of the Labuan Corporation on this matter.

“They reminded us that Muis had already given six months to the residents involved before Suhaili asked for an additional three months before the demolition.

“The corporation is also providing houses which can be rented and lived in by the residents by applying online through the Labuan Corporation website,” he claimed.

However, Omar said that attempts to contact Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Nor and Suhaili directly have not been successful.

“We even went to Kota Kinabalu to try to meet Hajiji but we didn’t succeed. We also contacted the local Warisan leadership but they said they could not intervene,” Omar added.

Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul Rahman

Earlier this week Suhaili told Malaysiakini he was looking into the matter but he has yet to revert on it.

The residents occupy two lots in Kampung Gersik, totalling a land area of 14ha.

‘Not Malaysians’

Suhaili in November also disputed several claims by the villagers, questioning the fact that there were 3,000 people staying in the area.

He felt that many of the residents were not Malaysians but those who had entered the country on the IMM13 social visit pass.

The IMM13 passes were meant for Filipino refugees who entered Sabah without valid international travel documents from late 1972 till some time in 1984.

“Since the villagers are claiming to be Malaysians, I have asked them to produce proof. As long as they really are Malaysians, I can tell you that they will not be evicted without alternate dwellings.

“Even if they are not Malaysians, we are not going to deny them shelter. This is a long-standing issue of illegal settlement on Muis’ land,” Suhaili had said. - Mkini

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