G Vinod| August 2, 2012 (FreeMalaysiaToday)
Two residents whose longhouses were demolished by a developer in June last year have yet to move into the house that they purchased in 2003.
PETALING JAYA: A year has gone by since their homes were demolished by an errant developer but the two families that used to live at the PJS1 longhouses are still waiting for the state government to build their low-cost apartments.
Fifty-two year old V Balakrishnan had no choice but to relocate to Semenyih after his house was demolished in June 2011 as he needed his relatives’ support to look after his children.
“I’m supporting 12 children, including my nieces and nephews. I had to move out of PJS1 to Semenyih as I have family members there who would help look after my children while I’m at work,” he said.
However, his relocation to Semenyih had cost him his business.
Balakrishnan, who works as a home renovator, said that his income has since dropped drastically since moving to Semenyih.
“When I was in Petaling Jaya, I used to earn close to RM6,000 a month but in Semenyih, I can only earn about RM1,500.
“I have a daughter who is studying medicine in Russia. It costs me a bomb,” said Balakrishnan who added that he had to borrow money at times to support his family.
He also said that his wife, A Pushparani, who used to ferry school children for a living, had also lost her income after their homes were demolished.
“We had to attend many meeting and visit government offices to resolve our problem and because of this, many parents started sending their children using other modes of transportation.
“It’s hard for her to do the same business in Semenyih. So now I’m the sole breadwinner of the family,” he said.
Asked if he planned to relocate to PJS1 anytime soon, Balakrishnan said that he would only come back once the state government had built his home.
“Even if I come back now, I may need to find another place to stay but the rental here is high,” said Balakrishnan who only pays a rent of RM300 in Semenyih.
“Some of my machines were badly damaged as we had not enough time to move the things during demolition,” he said.
Even now, Balakrishnan said that he had to take many leave days in order to attend meetings with the state government representatives to resolve his housing woes.
“But they are only making verbal promises without putting anything in writing,” he said.
Balakrishnan said it was upsetting to note that while they were still suffering without a home, developer Peter Brickworks Sdn Bhd was building their condominium project.
“What is the state government doing about this?” he asked.
Another resident, S Tamilselvi, 54, echoed Balakrishnan’s sentiments saying that her husband had died before seeing the house he bought in 2003.
Tamilchelvi is the wife of late V Mahalingam, the disabled man who defiantly stayed in a tent last year after the developer demolished his home.
He passed away in December 2011.
Now living alone in a flat given by the state government, Tamilselvi said that she hoped that the state government would build the low cost apartment soon.
“My late husband died out of grief after he was forcefully evicted. He had always hoped that he would see his home before he died but that didn’t happen,” she said.
“I hope the MPPJ will resolve this matter soon,” she said.
Meanwhile, Block E residents action committee chairman M Sugumaran urged the state government to build free low cost houses for the 276 buyers as soon as possible.
“We don’t want anything more. Just build the houses as promised by the developer in 2003,” said Sugumaran.
While the house issue was almost settled, Sugumaran said that the state must also resolve several other issues affecting the buyers such as their bank interest payments and late delivery charges.
“We don’t want the buyers or their children to be burdened by the housing issue. Our current predicament is not of our doing,” he said.
In June last year, Peter Brickworks demolished their longhouses to make way for a condominium project after getting a court order.
They are among the 276 buyers of the Block E flat units who were promised lowcost flats by Peter Brickworks when they moved out from their squatter settlement in 2003.
Although the developer had already built four flat blocks, they however failed to build Block E due to a court order served against the project by residents near Taman Kanagapuram.
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