In Johor, senior citizen left devastated after house mistakenly demolished

Pakatan Harapan Perling branch head Norman Abdul Hamid (left) and Ainon Musa at the site of where her house stood in Kampung Bakar Batu today after it was accidentally demolished by a contractor hired by a developer July 25, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan
Pakatan Harapan Perling branch head Norman Abdul Hamid (left) and Ainon Musa at the site of where her house stood in Kampung Bakar Batu today after it was accidentally demolished by a contractor hired by a developer July 25, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, July 25 — What started as a regular day for senior citizen Ainon Musa, turned into horror after she claimed that a contractor hired by a developer had accidentally levelled her house in Kampung Bakar Batu in Taman Perling here.

The 63-year-old widow and mother of seven had a shock of her life after seeing her house completely demolished by the contractors at about 3pm yesterday.

“I have lived and brought up my family here for more than 25 years. Now I am left without a place to stay.

“I have my personal belongings and furniture in the house, that was still undergoing minor repairs for the coming Hari Raya Haji season before the excavator destroyed my house without warning.

“The contractors then quickly left without an apology after finding out that they had demolished the wrong house,” said Ainon when met by Malay Mail at the site where her former house stood.

She was accompanied by several other villagers who had earlier helped her to salvage some belongings.

Also present were Perling assemblyman Cheo Yee How and Pakatan Harapan (PH) Perling branch head Norman Abdul Hamid.

Ainon added that she was still shocked over what had happened and hoped that the contractors will duly compensate her, as her house was not scheduled to be demolished.

Checks revealed that the contractors, hired by Iskandar Malaysia’s master developer, Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH), may have mistaken Ainon’s home for being unoccupied.

Both the contractors and villagers have lodged their respective police reports on the incident.

Ainon explained that to be fair, she was not a party to some of the residents that had given up their village homes to the developer for the RM15,000 in cash and a rent-to-own flat.

She claimed that the villagers that did not give up their homes and land in Kampung Bakar Batu are still the rightful owners and were not required to leave the village yet, pending an amicable solution to their grouses.

“Personally, I’m at a loss on what to do as I had planned to use the house as a gathering point for my children for the coming Hari Raya Haji holidays.

“Now I have to temporarily stay with my children while the other villagers try to assist me,” said Ainon.

Norman said that it was unfortunate that the contractors had mistakenly demolished the wrong house, causing unnecessary problems for Ainon.

He described what had happened as an injustice to a senior citizen who now is forced to depend on her children and relatives for shelter after her house was levelled.

“We are not going against the government as we respect the law.

“But I hope that the matter can be settled in a responsible manner by the contractors and developer concerned,” said Norman.

Perling assemblyman Cheo Yee How (right) giving advise to the villagers on the recent incident where a house was accidentally demolished in Kampung Bakar Batu in Perling July 25, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan
Perling assemblyman Cheo Yee How (right) giving advise to the villagers on the recent incident where a house was accidentally demolished in Kampung Bakar Batu in Perling July 25, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan

Meanwhile, Cheo also echoed Norman’s sentiments saying that the incident was regrettable.

He said that his office will try to assist Ainon to be quickly resettled temporarily in a transit home pending the case.

“At the same time, we will look at trying to get compensation for her personal belongings and valuables that was destroyed in the house when it was demolished yesterday,” said Cheo.

Kampung Bakar Batu in Perling has about 70 Malay village homes and is located in the fringes of the mire urban Taman Perling and Taman Sutera neighbourhood. It also has an Orang Asli Seletar village.

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