Tue, 15 Jul 2003

Squatters refuse to vacate land

JAKARTA: Some 100 people, who had occupied land owned by state housing company Perum Perumnas in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, refused to leave their homes because they had paid local officials to allow them to stay.

Spokesman of the squatters Isrullah Mufti said at the City Council on Monday that they had paid city police officers, plus officials from subdistrict office and related agencies, Rp 4 million (US$488) to Rp 10 million to remain on the land.

"We don't have receipts because they didn't want to give us any. If the council wants us to identify the officials, we'll do so," he said.

The people occupied part of the 35,470 square meter (sq m) site in Kebon Kosong subdistrict, Kemayoran. They had used the land to build semi-permanent shops. Each person occupied some 30 sq m to 100 sq m of land.

Isrullah said that the officials had offered them the land for purchase, although they knew that it was illegal. The reason the people gave them money was that they wanted to do business there.

City public order officers demolished their property on June 25, a day after the Jakarta Administrative Court issued a decree to delay the demolition.

Central Jakarta Mayor Petra Lumbun said that he received the written decree at 4:30 p.m. on the day after demolition had been completed. -- JP