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Keys handed over, but squatters far from pleased
26/10/2006 The Star

WITH the handover of keys of the completed Sri Ara low cost apartments (formerly Vista Damansara) to 250 squatter families in Kg Sg Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya is now squatter-free.  

“With the movement of the last of the squatter families, MBPJ has now achieved zero-squatters status,” said mayor Mohamad Roslan Sakiman at the apartment premises on Tuesday  

The mayor also issued a temporary certificate of fitness (TCF) that day, witnessed by Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Yong Dai Ying, Antara Vista Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Mohd Yusoff Abd Hamid, MBPJ officials and Kg Sg Kayu Ara residents.  

He also said that more than 800 families in the area have been relocated in two phases to low-cost housing areas in Puncak Ara and Pelangi Damansara.  

Up till Tuesday, more than 16, 800 squatter families in PJ have been systematically relocated to low-cost and transit homes, with the 250 here the last to be relocated.  

Meanwhile, despite the issuance of the TCF, the would-be residents of the Sri Ara apartments are not jumping for joy. 

The reason for their lack of enthusiasm - the CF is not justifiable and technicalities have yet to be resolved.  

“I was told by the Sewerage Services department director that he refused to give his endorsement because the sewerage system was not according to specifications,” said Kg Sg Kayu Ara residents association chairman Abidin Pandak. 

To be certified fit for residence, a property must first be approved by various entities including utility companies, the fire brigade and sewerage department.  

“Apparently, a six-inch pipe was used instead of the nine-inch pipe stipulated by the law, and the sewage is channelled into the drains instead of a proper sewerage plant. How can MBPJ give a temporary CF?” he added.  

Abidin also lamented that the residents have not been compensated RM5, 500 each by the developer for late delivery.  

A spokesman from the developer's office cited financial difficulties as the reason for the delay in the disbursement of compensation. 

“We have suggested that the compensation be offset by the payments owed by the purchasers,” she said, adding that the payments included quit rent from 2002 and 2006 and various charges such as maintenance, electricity and water. 

On sewerage issues, she said that the Department of Sewerage Services has granted a temporary approval to the six-inch pipes used, and that contrary to the complaint, sewerage will be discharged to a proper plant located within the apartment premises. 

According to Yong, MBPJ will conduct a meeting between the developer, bank and purchasers in the near future to iron out the various technicalities.  

“I hope everything is settled amicably, but the most important priority is that the specifications are adhered to and the structure is safe for the purchasers,” said Yong.  

“Just because they (the purchasers) are squatters, doesn't mean they should be short-changed. We are supposed to narrow the gap, not make the rich richer; it is imperative that the squatter community be given a decent place to live in. 

“I hope all entities involved plays their part,” she added.  


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