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Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 10:55:44 AM
by choo woon limphotos by samuel ong and choo woon lim
Solid security: A sliding gate erected at the housing area.
GATED-and-guarded (G&G) schemes seem to be an expected feature in new townships these days while residents in older neighbourhoods form a committee to implement the security system to safeguard their neighbourhood and deter crime.
However, such schemes have its drawbacks, as residents of Section 6 in Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang have found out.
They feel like they are living in a “prison,” with certain people calling the shots and using high-handed tactics.
In relating the matter to StarMetro, several residents in this township claimed they were intimidated when they refused to participate in the G&G scheme. All the residents did not want to be named, for fear of repercussions.
“Discussions on the scheme went on for three years, during which many welcomed the project,” said a resident who wanted to be known only as “Terry”.
“We were not told what was happening or given any updates on the project. We only came to know what they were doing when the committee started erecting perimeter fencing around the neighbourhood,” said Terry.
Fences were erected, with guardhouses and barriers built at the entrance of the neighbourhood, giving rise to mixed feelings among residents of Section 6 and the surrounding areas of Section 10 and 11.
“There is a surau and shoplots nearby. This will affect their business,” said Terry, adding that there were only two entry and exit points located on one side of the whole neighbourhood.
Residents are also concerned about congestion when a new primary school opens nearby.
Another resident, who wanted to be identified only as Min said those who opposed the G&G scheme are worried for the safety of their families, as there have been incidents of cars and houses being splashed with paint.
“A car in the neighbourhood was also set on fire,” said the worried resident.
“Police reports have been lodged, but no action has been taken to-date.”
Min also claimed that verbal threats were made to those unwilling to join the scheme.
“Some were told to watch out.”
There are 504 houses in the area and occupants of 45 houses signed the petition against the project.
On July 23, Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) planning department issued a letter allowing the building of guardhouses, an automatic gate in Jalan SL6A and manual barriers at other access points in the neighbourhood.
However, the barriers have to be open during the day and they must not limit access to public roads.
Checks by StarMetro showed that the sliding gate barriers were unmanned and locked during the day.
Under the council by-laws, Section 46(1)(a) of the Streets, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133) classifies these structures as obstructions on public land.
A resident of Section 11, called Nan, said that locking the gates was irresponsible, as ambulances and fire trucks would not be able to access the roads during an emergency.
“Ambulances are supposed to reach places through the shortest route. They will need to make a big detour. It can be a matter of life and death,” said Nan.
“We know everyone is concerned about safety as we are, but it should be done and discussed in a proper manner. Their intimidating actions amount to bullying,” said Chia, another resident in the neighbourhood.
“We hope that MPKj will do something about this. We are not against the idea of improving safety,” said Chia.
“We just do not like the way it is being done.”
MPKj corporate affairs and public relations head Kamarul Izlan Sulaiman confirmed that the council had approved the building of two guard houses and barriers at certain points.
“But they must be manned and unlocked during the day. It is a guarded community, not a gated one.
“If investigations find that they have not been complying with rules, we will remove the gates,” he said.
> Names have been changed to protect privacy.
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Government, Community, Central Region, Lifestyle, People, Family & Community, G&G, Kajang
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