Pulau Ubin residents will not be evicted

Residents on Pulau Ubin will not be evicted and there are no plans to develop a new adventure park on the island, the Ministry of National Development and the Singapore Land Authority said on Friday in a joint statement.

However, if affected residents do decide to stay in their homes, they will have to pay rent from now on because they are staying on state land.

The agencies clarified that the notices given to 22 households in March - widely thought to be eviction notices - were a follow-up from a previous exercise.

Since 1993, the households had been informed that they would be affected by public development, which included a new recreation park, and were entitled to resettlement benefits.

Facilties for the park, which included cycling and hiking trails and campsites, were subsequently completed between 1994 and 2005.

During a recent SLA review, the agency noted that not all 22 households had claimed their resettlement benefits. The SLA then employed the Housing and Development Board to conduct a census survey in March to find out whether the households were still eligible for the resettlement benefits and whether they wanted to stay or relocate.

"These households are currently residing on state land without a temporary occupation license," the agencies said in the statement. "They can continue to stay on state land if they obtain (the license) from SLA and pay a fee for the use of the land, similar to any other use of state land."

The agencies said the rents will be pegged at the market rate, but would be phased in stages so households will only pay the full market rate in six years.

"The Government will also render other forms of assistance as may be necessary to households who require and qualify for such assistance," they said, adding that each case would be reviewed separately.

"The planning intention is to keep Pulau Ubin in its rustic state for as long as possible as an outdoor playground for Singaporeans. Given this, there is no need for the residents to move out."

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