Conversion of leasehold land in Ampangan a hot polls issue

Some of the houses in Taman Dusun Nyiur, Ampangan, that are on leasehold land. (Google map pic)

By Anne Grace Savitha

SEREMBAN: About 500 households in Taman Dusun Nyiur, Ampangan, are worried what will happen when their 99-year leases expire.

They are concerned they will have to vacate their houses as the land will automatically revert to the Negeri Sembilan state government.

Taman Dusun Nyiur and other housing areas in Ampangan, such as Taman Dato Wan and Taman Gedong Lalang 50, were opened in the late 1970s.

Resident Gausmian K Sultan, 69, said this issue of leasehold land had been brought up earlier by villagers, but nothing had been done by the authorities so far.

“Ten years ago, we wrote in a letter to the ketua kampung (village head), to send a letter to the state but he never did so.”

The other subsequent headmen also never looked into this matter.

“Abu Ubaidah Redza, the former Ampangan state representative, had said he would change the leashold status to freehold, but nothing came out of that.”

Gausmian’s wife, who wanted to be identified only as Belinda, said the prices of houses had skyrocketed with the implementation of the GST (goods and services tax).

“The cost of building a house is so expensive, as the cost of building materials have all increased after GST was imposed. How are our children and grandchildren going to buy a new house in the future?

“Dusun Nyiur is our area. It’s our home. We want our children and grandchildren to be able to live in this housing area, too.

”We want the status of the land to be clarified now by the state government”

Chin (not his real name), a Chinese resident, in his late 60s, who has been staying in his current home for 12 years now, said there was another 50 years left in the lease before the land reverts to the government.

“It’s still a long way to go. What is there to worry?”

He hoped the government will renew the leasehold status for another 99 years once the leasehold permit expires.

He said the residents could vote in a Pakatan Harapan government and hope for leasehold titles, pointing to a poster of Seremban DAP chief Anthony Loke and Ampangan state seat representative Dr Mohamad Rafie Ab Malek.

Another resident, who only wanted to be referred to as Samat, in his late 60s, has been staying in Taman Dusun Nyiur for 40 years and is considered one of the pioneers there.

He said some time ago, some of the residents met Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohamad Hasan to voice out on this issue, but he had never given a reply.

“This was former mining land and the government developed the housing scheme here.”

He said if the government reclaimed the land, the residents would have great difficulty finding another place to stay as land prices have increased tremendously.

“Where will we stay then?”

PKR’s state representative Dr Mohamad Rafie Ab Malek, who will be contesting the Ampangan state seat, has promised freehold status for the houses in this area, if he is elected the state representative.

“The current government has never taken any action to change the status of the land. The younger generation will face problems in the future as they won’t have a place to stay if the status of the housing areas here remains unchanged, ” he said.