Wednesday, October 16

Villagers with houses need not move to ‘Rumah Mesra Rakyat’ — Abg Johari

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KUCHING: Sungai Midin villagers yesterday finally received good news from Minister of Housing and Urban Development Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg about their land titles.

Abang Johari told them during a visit to the Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) project site here that the government would not force villagers who already have houses to move to RMR houses in the village as initially feared.

They would be allowed to continue staying in their present houses.

“The government is concerned about the people’s plight. If a house (in the village) is already nicely built, let it be. Just give (the owner) the land title,” he said to the applause of the villagers.

Abang Johari said the government is always open to suggestions or criticisms for the sake of the people.

But the people, he said, must acknowledge that no problems could be settled if the mind is being controlled by anger.

“If we are angry, who wants to sit down and talk with us,” he said.

He disclosed that the government has bigger plan in store for the village that would take about ten years to complete.

“We plan to turn the village into a good neighbourhood with basic amenities that would enable the children to grow up in a good environment,” he said, adding that he had personal experiences in resettlement exercises involving a few villages, among them, Kampung Lada Pedas and Kampung Semerah Padi.

He stressed that what the government is doing in Kampung Sungai Midin is not a resettlement exercise but merely village extension.

Earlier, Samariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali urged the villagers not to be tricked by instigators who are only trying to worsen their situation.

“All of us should work together to solve any problem (in the village) and not be swayed by those who only turn up during a crisis and later disappear,” she said.

She added that the RMR project, where piling work would commence today, and which will require RM5.56 million to build 52 houses, is proof that the government is listening to the people.

“If you have any problem, you can see me… we can discuss (about the problem) and solve it regardless is the challenges,” she said.

Hasidah added it was not the government’s style to give empty promises just to fish for votes from the villagers.

She stressed that the government is concerned with the wellbeing of the rakyat as well as their offspring and would make serious attempt to give opportunities to these young or future generation to grow up in a pleasant environment.

Deputy Minister of Housing and Urban Development Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck and Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Fadillah Yusuf were also present.