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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Protest a last resort for low-cost house buyers

About 50 buyers of the stalled low-cost flat project in Petaling Jaya Selatan (PJS) staged a protest outside the Selangor state secretariat building recently demanding a solution to their problem.

The group, led by action committee chairman Sugumaran S. Muniandy and Parti Sosialis Malaysia national treasurer A. Sivarajan, insisted on handing over a memorandum to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

They held placards that read, Mana rumah kami (Where are our houses), Tan Sri kami harapkan jawapan kepada masalah kita (Tan Sri, we are hoping for a solution to our problem) and Tunaikan tuntutan kami (Fulfil our demands).

Sugumaran said 276 people bought the Block E low-cost flats in 2003 but the development never materialised.

Some of them paid 10% down payment of either RM3,500 or RM4,200 while the rest took a 100% loan from banks.

The latter had to pay about RM30 per month as loan interests.

“Some of the buyers lived in squatter areas previously. They are now staying in PPR units in Lembah Subang, longhouses in PJS 1 or renting houses on their own.

“Those living in the longhouses suffer from floods which occur three times within five months. The drains in the area are clogged too but the Petaling Jaya City Council didn’t help us to solve the problems,” he said.

A buyer, Paisah Deraman @ Abdul Rahman was served a bank notice in October last year, urging her to pay a sum of about RM15,000 for the loan she took.

“The developer didn’t build the project and yet we have to settle the loan,” she said.

Another buyer, Zainab Mat Yaman, 40, said they just wanted their own house.

S. Kumaran, 36, was worried about applying for loan should the project revived later.

“My wife, who was eligible to apply for loan back then, has stopped working now. How are we going to apply for loan?

“The condition of PPR Lembah Subang isn’t perfect. Only one out of the three lifts are working. It is especially troublesome for us since we live on the 13th floor,” he said.

Sugumaran said the buyers had a meeting with Khalid on June 16 and he promised to settle the problem within four days after discussing with the developer.

“However, five months later and we still haven’t received any news from Khalid.

“We followed up with letters on Aug 19, Sept 26 and Nov 8 but to no avail. In our last letter, we told him we would be here if we still didn’t hear from him,” he said.

He added that Khalid also verbally promised to let the affected buyers purchase the 800 sq ft affordable homes costing RM35,000.

State Housing, Building Maintenance and Squatters Committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad came out of the state assembly to meet them at 11.15am but the buyers insisted that Khalid should be the one receiving the memorandum.

Iskandar then told them he would relay their message to the Mentri Besar, and the committee made up of 12 buyers would be allowed inside the building later to see Khalid.

At about 1pm, the buyers were still outside the gate of the state secretariat building, chanting, Turun, turun, MB turun. (Come down, come down, MB come down).

Finally, they were let in at about 2pm and Khalid, who received the memorandum, promised to come out with a solution within a week.

By The Star

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