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Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Life is all tents, shacks and perils

By B Nantha Kumar
AMPANG: The 10x10 feet tents and spartan shacks in Kampung Berembang, next to the Gleneagles Hospital on busy Jalan Ampang, are anything but safe for the women and children in the village.
In fact, deaths as a result of accidents are a common occurrence here where a patch of green for the children to play on is non-existent.
This has been the fate of the villagers as they await the houses that the former Selangor Barisan Nasional regime promised them when it rudely evicted hundreds of families in 2006.
Said a former soldier, Norazlihan Ali, who lives in his 15x15ft shack: “The government and the developer must understand that it's been four years and we are still living without adequate facilities. “This used to be a big kampung with more than 1,000 villagers but most have left after the forced eviction in 2006. “It was frightening how they forced us out. Now there are only 30 families left.
“Some of them are living in 10x10ft tents provided by the BN government while waiting for their homes to be ready… it’s not safe. “Our children play at the roadside because there is no playground and are constantly in danger. Deaths are common,” he said.
Housing scandal
Norazlihan said that all the 1,000 families were promised a house each by joint developers -- Permodalan Negri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) and Perspektif Masa Sdn Bhd -- when they were evicted but they have heard that many of the units have been given away to outsiders.
“The BN government had at the time promised to give each family a house.
“But now I hear that 150 units have been sold to outsiders, people who were linked to former Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Rahman Ismail. How could this be when they already had insufficient units to be begin with?
“I hope the Selangor government will investigate this scandal,” he said.
Another resident, who preferred to be known as Pakcik Omar, said Perspektif Masa had promised to build a 21-floor apartment block with 628 units to accommodate the villagers.
But things are moving slow.
He blamed the delay in the construction of the low-cost housing project on “political play”.
He said the piling for the project had began during BN rule in Selangor but when Pakatan Rakyat wrested the state, all construction abruptly stopped.
Mass of bricks and cement
The project, which was scheduled to have been completed on Nov 30, 2008, is now an abandoned mass of bricks and cement.
He said that only 60% of the project had been completed.
“I must admit that the Selangor government has been very helpful to us. It has tried to mediate discussion between the developer and us.
‘Every time we tried to meet the developers, they keep giving us excuses but we can’t accept this anymore,” he said.
Omar said that he was quite sure finance was not an a reason for the delay.
“As far as I know, money is not the issue. But I am quite sure there are politics at play behind the scenes. For some reason, they want to keep delaying the project and make us suffer,” he said.
Omar said he had attempted to get an answer from the federal government but to no avail.
Some 95% of the population here are Malays.
Past reports indicate that PNSB had plans to build 10 luxury condominiums on the Kampung Berembam site.

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