Wednesday, April 01, 2009

brunei evicts

For decades, squatters in Seria, a town in the wealthy Sultanate of Brunei, have lived in peace. Now, since they are on oil company land, they are being told to expect eviction any day, reports the Borneo Bulletin.

Awang Ngabong Anak Matan has been living in his "temporary" house for over 18 years. Ten other family members, including his two grandchildren, aged one and two, are also staying in the dilapidated house. The 59-year-old man, who has been served with several eviction notices in the past from BSP (Brunei Shell Petroleum), lamented to the Bulletin that he "had no choice but to stay in the house because he has no place to go".
And check out the government's insulting offer to the squatters:
All the squatters who were served with eviction notices were instructed by the Land Department to apply for temporary stay licences at Kampong Lumut Tersusun, which is a squatter settlement area in Mukim Liang. The only catch is that all those who apply for the temporary stay licence at Kg Lumut Tersusun will need to fork out their own money to level the land within three months and construct a house within six months. If they fail to do so, they risk having their applications withdrawn. "This is absurd. We just don't have that kind of money to build a house within that limited period of time," said Awg Ngabong.

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