Bright lights, happy community

The SS15 field in Subang Jaya, the only open space for some 340 houses in the community, is now bright even at night following the installation of two floodlights.

Subang Jaya assemblywoman, Hannah Yeoh, who officiated a ceremony to commemorate the completion of the installation today, said the lights were built along with other upgrades such as a walking path, exercise stations, work stations and a fence around the football field.

The ceremony drew the participation of more than 50 residents, who donned their residents’ association t-shirts and made merry while witnessing the official opening of the upgraded park.

Yeoh said the lights cost about RM9,000 and were funded by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

“This was requested by the residents as the area is a hotspot for crime,” she explained.

“Following the installation of floodlights, they now have better security and are also able to use the facilities at night,” she said.

Loi Kheng Min, the MPSJ councillor for JKP Zone 1 (under which the SS15 neighbourhood comes under), also noted that SS15 is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Subang Jaya and many of its residents are retirees.

“They now have an extended time to exercise,” he said, referring to the lighted park.

How the residents organised themselves

SS15 residents’ association secretary, Michael Surendran, said the residents first organised themselves in a group in 2009 due to concern about the rising crime rate in the neighbourhood.

“We then decided to have our own voluntary patrols every night to fight crime,” said the former police official.

He said that with Yeoh’s assistance, they managed to get bicycles, vests and torchlights for the patrols.

The efforts were effective. Surendran said he once confronted a gang of burglars who were breaking into a house. He alerted the police, and the gang was busted in Cheras later.

He also said a small alley beside the field used to be a crime spot as many students and residents were using it to get to the shoplots, even during at night.

The residents then requested the authority to make it into one-way road, and Yeoh had in last year allocated a fund to build a police beat near the alley.

“Since then, the crime rate dropped by almost 100 percent,” Michael said.

Yeoh commended the residents on their initiative to get together, and said it should be emulated by other communities.

“By getting together as one voice, your demands can be more clearly heard,” she said.