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09 July, 2010

Kuala Sepetang Railway Land Squatters - Good News Soon

LUMUT, July 9 (Bernama) -- There will be good news soon for the 643 squatter families occupying the railway reserve land between Kuala Sepetang and Taiping, to be announced by the federal government.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said the good news which the squatters had awaited for decades, was unofficially conveyed to him by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently.

In January this year, the Perak government had asked the Railway Asset Corporation to reconsider the RM38 million price for the reserve land to be released to the state government.

The Railway Asset Corporation, as administrator of the land, was also asked to consider whether to hand over to the state government the land, which has not been used for railway operations since 1941, without any payment imposed.

Speaking to reporters after handing over the keys for the Phase 1 and 2 and launching of Phase 3 of the Bukit Permata Apartments here today, Zambry urged the squatters who have been occupying the 94.5ha land to be patient to receive the good news.

Releasing the land where the country's first railway line was located, will enable the Perak government to develop it for housing as well as to preserve the historical location.

The construction of the railway line which began in 1882, was for the purpose of linking the Larut mining area to Kuala Sepetang, known then as Port Weld.

In another development, Zambry hit out at certain quarters trying to politicise the issue of developing the beach area of Teluk Nipah in Pangkor Island, claimed to be opposed by some residents and traders there.

"The project to rebuild the old stalls in Teluk Nipah and upgrade the area had long been planned to draw visitors to this beautiful beach.

"Unfortunately, the issue has been exploited by some quarters including opposition party leaders," he said.

Zambry said the project was for the benefit of all, expecially in ensuring a better future for traders in the area.

The RM6.5 million project, involving the building of 40 shoplots and landscaping, was stalled a number of times following objection from some residents and small traders in the area.

 -- BERNAMA --