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Grave issue irks residents

The Star 24/1/2006
RESIDENTS and property owners in Taman Saujana Puchong have begun a fund-raising campaign to initiate legal proceedings against the Selangor state government and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

The residents are protesting against a proposed project to turn part of a forest reserve, located adjacent to Taman Saujana Puchong and Taman Lestari Putra, into a multi-racial cemetery and crematorium.

Pro tem committee chairman Roland Chong said residents had been informed by Subang Jaya Municipal Council president Datuk Mohd Arif Abdul Rahman in December last year that the project would go ahead as it had been approved by the state government.

“Out of 1,983 occupied households in the area, we collected 1,701 signatures in October last year. The majority are definitely against the project,” claimed Chong, adding that legal action was being considered as other avenues had been exhausted.

“We will not proceed with legal action unless enough people sign up to contribute towards the cost,” said Chong during a residents’ gathering, attended by more than 80 people, in Taman Saujana Puchong on Sunday.

Chong appealed to property owners to commit themselves quickly as the deadline for initiating legal action is February 1.

Chong said legal costs would be between RM60,000 and RM80,000.

“Based on an estimated 1,000 households, this works out to a contribution of between RM60 and RM80 per household,” said Chong, adding that it was a small amount of money compared to a possible drop in property prices if the project went ahead.

Chong said he was confident at least 400 households would contribute towards the legal costs as more than RM6,000 was collected during the gathering.

Among the property owners who contributed was Mohd Jawahin Sulaiman.

Mohd Jawahin said when he bought his house, the project site was gazetted as a forest reserve.

“Now we are told that it will become a cemetery. Our property values will drop drastically,” said the 42-year-old businessman.

Abdul Rahim Adam was concerned about possible health and environmental hazards that might result from the proximity of the proposed cemetery.

“It should not be built so near a residential area,” said the 36-year-old bank officer.

Another resident, 47-yar-old Arumainathan Rayappan, agreed and hoped the proposed cemetery would be located far away from the residential area.

When contacted, Puchong MP Lau Yeng Peng said it was the residents’ legal right to bring the issue to court.

“My door is always open for the residents to solve this amicably.

“I am willing to be a liaison between the residents and the state government to come up with a solution,” said Lau.

To contact Chong, call 012-317 0089.


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