NEIGHBOURHOODS in urban areas are mostly concerned about security. The residents of Section 5 in Petaling Jaya are no different.
The Section 5 Residents Association (RA) was formed about 15 years ago by the late Bukit Gasing assemblyman Edward Lee.
The neighbourhood has 745 houses and the popular hikers’ trail Bukit Gasing is also there.
Bukit Gasing was a rubber plantation before it was abandoned for at least 50 years. During that period, it blossomed into a sanctuary for flora and fauna.
The hill is now a major attraction but the influx of visitors comes with security concerns.
The RA’s biggest concern and its community initiatives are mostly focused on security.
Former RA president Mohamed Rafiq Fazaldin said crime watch here was challenging because the neighbourhood had seven inlets and outlets. That was why most of the residents decided to engage private security companies to guard the neighbourhood.
“We have to be extra careful about who is lingering in the neighbourhood because of our experiences. In the past, robbers have come here in luxury vehicles. These days, our security guards make at least 20 rounds on the same road. They help us identify suspicious characters and we engage with the police,” he said.
Mohamed Rafiq said services by the private security companies were costly but most residents wanted it.
“We first engaged with private security companies about 11 years ago. In the past, each residential unit was required to pay RM300. It was not easy to raise the funds.
“Some choose not to participate despite having the means. This is our challenge but we feel the need for it,” he said.
The residents also want to install closed- circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in public spaces to beef up security.
Besides patrolling, the neighbourhood also keeps the surrounding area clean and free of bunting and banners.
“We provide incentives to our guards who remove the bunting and banners,” he said.
The neighbourhood is also actively researching leasehold land titles and based on their findings, feel their land should be made freehold.
“We aim to someday convert our land from leasehold to freehold. We would base it on reliable supporting documentation,” Rafiq said.
He said RA members worked hard to fulfil the needs of the community on a voluntary basis and stayed in touch through social media.
“The neighbourhood has about 100 active residents who are part of an online communication app. It helps us disseminate ideas and keep residents informed of happenings in the neighbourhood,” he added.