According to reports from Straits Times, TODAY and Channel News Asia, Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has legally possessed three residents’ homes, after they have failed to move out of their homes at Merpati Road after four deadline extensions from SLA.

These three residents have been staying put for close to seven years, since SLA has acquired the land in 2010 for the Mattar MRT station on Downtown Line 3 and surrounding developments. Their 12 other neighbours have already moved out before Tuesday (25 April), which was the final deadline given to these home owners.

Based on reports, these homeowners have been offered market compensation amounts ranging between $1.7 and $3 million – based on market value for the acquired land and determined by private valuers. None of these home owners have contested the compensation offered.

On top of the compensation, these three households were also offered various assistance packages to help them with their relocation. This includes an advance payment of 40% of the compensation, reimbursement of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty, concessionary rent back of the acquired properties, waiver of housing loan restrictions and priority balloting for a HDB flat.

These owners will have another 28 days to vacate after the enforcement notice for the possession has been served, on 26 April. If not, SLA will apply for a court order to take over the properties, which could take three to six months.

Road alignment and infrastructure works will only start after all these properties have been handed over.

One wonders why these three residents have not been able to move out after SLA bought over the land seven years ago. SLA even gave them an assistance package to help them relocate – it’s like they even get their own version of the baby bonus.

Based on the ST report, one of the residents even said they were expecting another extension to be given – after four extensions have been given to them. If they are really facing difficulties, they should raise it so that the authorities can help them – rather than being vague and refusing to give details.

Much shady.