An Orang Asli village in Sepang, Selangor is being evicted to make way for a tourist attraction built by a state government-linked company (GLC).
According to The Malaysian Insight, the development is an expansion of the existing Avani Sepang GoldCoast luxury resort by Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB).
“The plan is to develop the place into a tourist destination by Sepang Bay Sdn Bhd as part of the Sepang GoldCoast project,” the firm told the news website.
On April 20, 12 Mah Meri families from Kampung Orang Asli Bagan Lalang were issued eviction notices requesting they leave their homes in 30 days.
They have lived there for the past 20 years but do not have land titles as the area belongs to PNSB and the Sepang Municipal Council.
The families have reportedly pleaded for extra time and a chance to discuss the possibility of resettlement.
“In principle, PNSB can consider their request to extend the eviction notice because the deadline on the notice is not the final demolition date. The notice is to inform the villagers that they have encroached on our land.
“However, all decisions (regarding extensions) will be decided by the Sepang land and district office,” the company was quoted as saying.
PNSB also confirmed receiving a letter from the village’s tok batin Taha Akhir requesting more time before eviction.
Taha contended that the Covid-19 pandemic and Ramadan hindered the villagers from finding a place to move to.
PNSB reportedly owns 67.8 ha while the local council owns one ha of land in the area, which includes where the village is.
According to the Sepang GoldCoast website, there are three phases of the project.
Aside from the resort, the second “D’Festival” phase is supposed to be a mixed commercial development for “resort living”, business, and entertainment.
The third “Laguna Villa” phase is another resort that is supposed to be built with sustainable technology.