Man Tears Up As He Watches His Home And Surau Being Demolished To Give Way For ECRL

"I am very sad because the surau was built with my hard work, with no assistance from the state or federal government," Najib said.

Cover image via Fathil Asri/New Straits Times

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A 70-year-old man couldn't hold back tears as he witnessed the authorities demolishing his home and a nearby surau

Mohamad Najib Mokhtar, a retired policeman, said that his home of the past 12 years was demolished to make way for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, reported the New Straits Times.

The Kampung Desa Mukmin Warisan chairperson shared that his appeal to postpone the demolition was rejected by the Selangor Lands and Mines office, Selayang Municipal Council, and the police.

"I am very sad because the surau was built with my hard work, with no assistance from the state or federal government. It was from the waqf donations from the public, especially from former police officers," he said.

[It] makes me very sad.

Najib shared that despite pleas to spare the surau from demolition, the authorities insisted on tearing it down

According to him, the funds for constructing the surau were donated by the people, and they have not received any compensation.

"Why destroy it?" he asked.

A total of 150 homes along the ECRL route were demolished in the operation yesterday, 17 January. Seven houses in the area were spared as they did not obstruct the route.

In total, 157 affected residents were given ex-gratia compensation

According to Selangor Housing and Heritage Committee chairperson Borhan Aman Shah, the state government, together with Malaysia Rail Link, had offered compensation to the affected homeowners and tenants.

Najib confirmed receiving an ex-gratia compensation of RM33,000.

He, however, believes that the amount is insufficient.

"My house cost RM150,000 to build, but I received a compensation of RM33,000. It's not fair," he said, adding that he plans to move in with his eldest son, reported the English daily.

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