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Residents live in fear of eviction as ECRL project builds in Gombak neighbourhood

The villagers of Kampung Sungai Chinchin say they have not received any explanation from state authorities on the matter.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
An aerial view of piling machinery in operation near Sungai Chinchin in Gombak, where the East Coast Rail Link project is expected to pass through.
An aerial view of piling machinery in operation near Sungai Chinchin in Gombak, where the East Coast Rail Link project is expected to pass through.

The residents of Kampung Sungai Chinchin in Gombak are living under the threat of eviction as construction work for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) intensifies in the area, six years after the project was announced in 2017.

Several residents expressed frustration, saying they had received no clear explanation from state authorities, even though assessors had already started their work.

One resident, Muhammad Hakiim Atan, said he was shocked at the commencement of construction work.

"No information was provided to the residents. All of a sudden, houses were marked and pillars were erected. There were no permits either," he told MalaysiaNow.

Hakiim urged the authorities to consider the welfare of the residents, adding that there were rumours that eviction notices would be issued.

"I hope they will reconsider the route. We've been living here for a long time, and suddenly, they want us to relocate," he added.

The ECRL project, spanning over 600km and initiated during the previous Barisan Nasional administration, sparked similar controversies in Klang when residents in Taman Sungai Sireh reported that Chinese national contractors had marked several houses for demolition.

MalaysiaNow previously reported a similar situation in Desa Mukmin Warisan Batu 7 and Taman Rawiyah Sulaiman, where residents also faced encroachments by contractors and construction workers.

Another resident, Muhammad Iskandar, said that the area affected by the ECRL construction included the residents' access routes.

"They claim it's for the construction of pillars and won't affect the residents' houses. But they never informed the residents about their intentions. Where are their work ethics?" he asked.

Iskandar also expressed concern over the large piling machinery in a small area, which he said posed a risk to the nearby kindergarten and children.

"If we look at the Gombak map, there are alternative routes for the project. Why must they pass through the village?

"We elected the government, but they're doing this to us," he said, adding that the piling work had caused road damage in the area.

Iskandar called for a clear explanation from the authorities, as the residents' daily lives had been disrupted due to the machinery and construction work.

Kindergarten teacher Jamaah Md Nor, meanwhile, said they were initially informed that the kindergarten was not affected by the ECRL project.

"But then the assessors came and said the kindergarten would be affected, along with several houses nearby.

"We have not received any feedback from the Community Development Department (Kemas). I doubt Kemas is aware of this issue either," she added.