Petaling Utama longhouse residents bang heads with developer and government

There is no resolution in sight for PJS 1 longhouse conflict as residents are adamant that the Selangor government and the developer fulfil their demands before they move from their present homes. The assemblywoman, however, claims the ball is in the residents’ court.

The 29 families, who have been staying at the transit longhouse since 2000, will have their homes demolished as an eviction order served by the developer expired yesterday.

Although the feared demolition did not take place then, more than 20 residents still gathered at the home of a disabled longhouse occupant to voice their demands.

Several politicians from Human Rights Party, MIC and MCA Petaling Jaya Selatan branch tried to attend the gathering. However, the MCA representatives were barred by residents at their compounds, who said they were rejecting political opportunists’ offer of assistance.

The residents, represented by M. Sugumaran (below, right), said the reason they are still staying in the long house is because they refuse to sign the new sales and purchase agreement (SPA) offered to them by the Selangor government.

“We don’t want to sign it until the state government and the developer bow to all our demands,” he said, adding that the demands are to safeguard the community.

The demands include that rental for their new houses in Lembah Subang be waived, house instalment arrears imposed by the bank be waived, and legal fees for the new agreement be borne by the Selangor government, among others.

The long-standing problem goes back to the tenure of the previous Selangor government. In 2000, the families were promised low-cost flats by the developer Peter Bricks Sdn Bhd who had wanted to acquire their land in Kampung Muniandi.

Hence, the residents were accommodated in longhouses, while the flats were completed.

However, while the developer managed to complete all other blocks, residents who took up Block E were left in lurch due to a court injunction filed by surrounding bungalow residents, who objected to the high-rise building.

The present Selangor government, who came into picture in 2008, then ordered the developer to build the block on another plot of land.

The longhouse residents, in return, were asked to Lembah Subang low-cost flats until the block was ready.

Haniza: they are greedy

Taman Medan assemblywoman, Haniza Mohd Talha, when contacted, said the Selangor Government and the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) have been accommodating to the residents’ demands.

“In fact, we already offered RM14,000 compensation to those willing to move out and have agreed to provide them with free units in Lembah Subang PPR (Projek Perumahan Rakyat) until the project is ready,” she said, adding that the developer and state government are bearing the costs together.

On the bank instalments, Haniza claimed the Selangor government had arranged for two meetings between the bank and residents but these were rejected by the residents.

“The bank even agreed to deal with each resident separately but none of them showed up for the meetings,” she said.

She said Peter Bricks will also bear the legal fees of the new SPA.

“All these are stated clearly in the new SPA and state government minutes; I wonder why they still refuse to sign the document,” she said.

Haniza also slammed the residents for being “too greedy, and abusing the goodwill of state government.

“They should know the agreement was signed between them and the developer; the state government is only here to help,” she added.