PJS longhouse saga drags on and on

The PJS longhouse residents today appealed to the Selangor government to halt all property construction by Peter’s Brickworks Sdn Bhd should the company insist on demolishing two longhouses.

A group of 30 residents, led by Block E Buyers Action Committee chairman, M. Sugumaran, and PSM central committee member and MP for Sungai Siput,, Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, presented the state government a list of demands during a demonstration at the state government secretariat today.

Sugumaran said the state government should issue a stop-work order on all Peter’s Brickworks projects to force the developer to negotiate with the longhouse residents.

“The developer has insisted on demolishing two houses on Monday, in spite of the fact that one of the houses is occupied by a disabled family,” he said.

The residents representatives were met by Selangor local housing and government exco member, Ronnie Liu, who promised to conduct a tri-partite meeting with the residents and developer next week.

Liu also agreed that the matter should be solved amicably.

Convoluted history

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

The residents were accommodated in longhouses, while the low-cost flats were being built.

The developer then completed all the blocks of low-cost flats, except for Block E, whose purchasers were left in a lurch due to a court injunction obtained by nearby bungalow residents, who objected to the high-rise building.

The present Selangor government, who came into picture in 2008, then ordered Peter’s Brickworks to build Block E on another plot of land, away from the bungalows, but where the longhouses of Block E purchasers are now located.

The Block E purchasers have since been asked to move out of their longhouses to low-cost flats in Lembah Subang so that Block E can be built where the longhouses are now located.

In a concurrent and complicating matter, the developer obtained a court order to demolish two of the longhouses which are located where it wants to build school in view of soaring populations. The residents of these two longhouses have to until May 30 to vacate their homes.

Mahalingam Veeriah, the disabled occupant of one of the two longhouses slated for demolition, has said he has no place to go if his longhouse is demolished.

He is solely dependent on his wife, who suffers from impaired vision, and earns RM300 to RM500 a month.

Komunitikini is informed that the developer has offered Mahalingam an alternative unit at the surrounding low-cost flats at RM35,000, but Sugumaran claimed that Mahalingam cannot afford to pay the amount.

In a previous report, Taman Medan assemblywoman, Haniza Talha, revealed that the Selangor government has agreed to offer RM14,000 compensation to those willing to move out and  foot the rental of their temporary accommodation of the Lembah Subang PPR (Projek Perumahan Rakyat) for 24 months.

However, Sugumaran told journalists after the meeting with Liu that he hoped the state government can respond to the stop-work order demand by this evening.

He claimed the occupants of the two longhouses have agreed to vacate should “anyone” manage to solve their problems:

“We are asking them to cancel outstanding bank instalment interest (for their Block E flat, which is delayed), to defer its sale and purchase agreement and to foot the rental costs of their temporary accommodation until their original units are ready,” he said.

He also made a police report at Sri Manja police station today on the proposed demolition and the Selangor government’s involvement in the issue.