RELIEF: Kg Tanjong Tokong folks' tussle with developer ends with compensation
GEORGE TOWN: ABOUT 300 Kampung Tanjong Tokong families facing eviction heaved a sigh of relief when their four-year tussle with UDA Holdings Bhd ended with a compensation deal yesterday.
Residents of the historic site, touted as the last remaining traditional Malay village in Penang, entered into a settlement with the developer to get low-cost flats.
The residents, including their children, will be compensated on a one house-to-one house basis.
Some 197 families were moved to temporary accommodations provided by UDA when a fire razed almost the entire village three years ago.
However, several families had chosen to stay near the site.
Karim Tamysa, 84, who has lived in the village since birth, was ecstatic and nearly broke into tears when he received a copy of the agreement.
"I am happy to relocate to a new home after staying in the temporary accommodation.
"The poor air ventilation makes my life uncomfortable."
Another resident, Latifah Hashim, 55, who has also lived in the village her entire life, said she looked forward to moving into a new flat.
"I am glad my wish for a new home has finally been granted," she said.
UDA Holdings chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was expected to attend a ground- breaking ceremony for the RM165 million project.
He said 10 blocks of flats, comprising 1,200 units to be built in the village, would be completed in 2015.
"There will be a gallery and we will also build traditional Malay architectural structures near the entrance site to showcase the steep history of the 250-year-old village," Nur Jazalan said after witnessing the signing ceremony at the newly- completed Surau Desiran Tanjong here yesterday.
He thanked the state government for providing the land for UDA to redevelop Kampung Tanjong Tokong.