Glenmarie Community Dialogue
I took time off tonight from the Pakatan Rakyat budget drafting to attend a dialogue with the people of Ladang Glenmarie.
The purpose of the dialogue was to present to them an official reply to a land status question. The land in question was a former rubber estate and the residents there were granted 99 years leasehold when the estate was developed a decade ago.
The main concern of the residents was a peculiar fear that their leases will not be renewed or that the govt may forcible acquire it one day.
My office wrote to the Selangor land office in January 2014 to ask the office to give a clear answer to the residents. After 9 months, we finally got an official confirmation that should the lease expire in 2085, the residents shall be entitled to renew the lease for another 99 years.
Armed with this official reply we thought we have some good news for the residents and as such we asked for a meeting with the residents.
The meeting started off friendly enough and the residents still insisted that I try to apply to convert the land from leasehold to freehold. I explained that it will be near impossible but I will try nevertheless. So we agreed for my staff to come again next week to organise a petition for the residents.
After about half an hour of peaceful meeting, a few of members started heckling the proceedings. They were asking whether the resident’s association had any authority to hold this meeting.
Some minor shouting started across the room. Then the meeting descended into a shouting match between several camps and as such had to be called off.
We left the venue wondering how to best help the residents. The last townhall meeting here also ended in similar shouting fashion. It’s back to the drawing board tomorrow. We must find a better way to communicate.