A village's story of 'independence'
Villagers recall their eviction in the 1980s despite efforts to fight development activities.
Photographs by Djohan Shahrin
Rawiyah Kamil stands next to a signboard for Taman Rawiyah Sulaiman Jaya, a residential area named after her and her late husband, Sulaiman Yaakob, who worked to defend their land in their original home of Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau, Setapak, in the 1980s and 90s.
A newspaper excerpt from 1992 shows Rawiyah and her husband, accompanied by their children and a village resident, being charged in court for alleged violence and threats against construction workers in Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau.
Numerous press clippings chronicle the land disputes in Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau, portraying the residents' struggle to protect their homes, including Sulaiman's arrest.
Rawiyah recounts an incident in which she was assaulted by anti-riot police and arrested for obstructing construction activities at Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau.
She presents newspaper clippings chronicling her personal struggle and the collective endeavours of the village residents in 1992.
An archived image shows Rawiyah participating in a village demonstration, holding a protest banner against SPPK Sdn Bhd, after the developer cut off the water supply to their residences.
One of the houses that was eventually demolished, with the residents forced to vacate the land they had been occupying.
Heavy machinery tears down a house in Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau.
The writ of summons filed by the residents against Umno, alleging a breach of agreement dating back to 1984.
A guidebook, later written and employed as reference material.
An aerial view of Taman Rawiyah Sulaiman Jaya in Batu 8, Gombak, where the villagers relocated after losing the struggle for their homes.
Abdul Malek Ishak, who played a role in the land acquisition issue and supported the residents in their resistance to the land takeover.
Following his retirement, he established a frozen chicken business and remains appreciative of their triumph in securing their rights.
Othman Manaf also participated in the villagers' efforts, contributing to the action committee in the capacity of a secretary.
Now retired, he finds solace in gardening.
Rawiyah gathers ripe rambutans in front of her house in Taman Rawiyah Sulaiman Jaya.
Assisting her in the task is her son, Yusof Sulaiman.
Mohd Isa Ismail, another of the surviving villagers, also fought for the residents' land in Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau.
Rawiyah and Isa are now content with their lives, although they will forever remember and miss the homes they lost in Kampung Melayu Bumi Hijau.
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