The never-ending plight of former Gatco settlers

The never-ending plight of former Gatco settlers

A group of 50 angry former Kampung Gatco settlers expressed their frustrations over land which have been taken away from them in 2006.

Speaking during a press conference held by the Kampung Gatco settlers committee at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), the committee expressed frustration with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government who are also delaying a solution to their plight.

“It’s been two years since Pakatan has formed the state government in Negeri Sembilan but the settlers of Kampung Gatco are still waiting for a solution,” said John Catius, who is the secretary of the Kampung Gatco settlers committee.

He said both BN and Pakatan have failed to keep their promise, adding that even Pakatan  had championed their rights before the previous elections.

Catius added that the Negeri Sembilan Menteri besar Dato’ Seri Aminuddin Harun told him that BN played a gimmick in handling the Gatco issue.

“If the previous government was playing a gimmick, then why is there still no solution to the issue even until now?” he asked.

In 1977, the government had allocated land to Great Alonioners Trading Corporation Bhd (GATCO).

10 acres of the land were meant for the settlers and the rest for rubber plantation.

However, the company went bankrupt and the land was auctioned off to Thamarai Holdings Sdn Bhd (a company belonging to Lotus Group).

Lotus Group gave back 1,206 acres of the land back to the state government.

For over 40 years, the settlers have been claiming that they were cheated out of their 10 acres of land promised by Gatco.

Despite returning back the land to the state government, the settlers have still yet to receive their 10 acres of land until today.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)  Deputy chairperson S. Arutchelvan said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have investigated the matter and arrested Lotus directors in 2017.

However, they were released a few days later and there were no updates to date.

Arutchelvan added that MACC chief Latheefa Koya said the latter had promised to reopen the case but there are no updates so far.

“There have not been any updates yet from Latheefa, so we don’t know if they’re really going to reopen the case or not,” he added.

Uqbah Soperi

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