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Datuk Keramat housing controversy resurfaces

The contentious Residensi Gurney in Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur.

The contentious Residensi Gurney in Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – November 24, 2017: Two years ago, residents of Datuk Keramat thought the infamous Kampung Kinabalu affordable housing controversy had been dealt with.

But apparently it wasn’t.

The residents’ beef with the project this time is that they were not given the chance to buy the units despite being promised preferential treatment if they applied to do so.

“So far, none of us has been able to submit our application,” claimed Association of Non-governmental Organisations in Datuk Keramat chairman Norham Shazali Abdul Hamid.

Norham had in 2015 led the protests over the development after learning that the land in Kampung Kinabalu, initially designated for the Federal Territories Affordable Housing Scheme (Rumawip) had been earmarked for a luxury condominium project.

He said the issue then died down after KL mayor Datuk Mhd. Amin Nordin Abd. Aziz assured the residents that the developer, Era Ecoland Sdn. Bhd., will also develop a Rumawip project next to the luxury condominium.

“He told the media that the authority will go through the residents’ applications first but we were also told by DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) that all of the project’s units had been fully booked. What’s even more suspicious was that DBKL did not want to show us the list of buyers.

“We are not demanding for an exclusive purchasing right to these units. All that we want is for the authority to allow us to be the first to apply because the project was supposed to be for the betterment of people in Datuk Keramat,” said Norham.

The Rumawip project being built, called Residensi Gurneymas, will house 274 units, all of which were advertised as costing below RM200,000.

Norham also pointed out that the issue could be politically deadly to Titiwangsa Barisan Nasional given the ruling coalition’s small 866 majority in the previous general elections.

“Our MP (Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani) is well respected among the locals. If the government does not solve this issue it will definitely erode his support,” said Norham.

The Mole’s attempts to get a clarification from DBKL were unsuccessful.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.