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Saturday July 12, 2008

Residents of USJ 11/3 want gated community

RESIDENTS of USJ 11/3 in Subang Jaya want their housing area gated because of the increasing crime rate in the area.

The residents agreed on the proposal following a one-day community gathering to discuss “Let's fight crime together” in their area.

Joint effort: Newly-elected representives for the USJ 11/3 filling in their details during the 'Let's fight crime together' campaign.

According to residents association pro tem chairman Ng Peng Hin, a 48-year-old business manager, the gated community proposal has received good support as it is an effective way to contain and deter crime.

However, USJ 8 police station officer-in-charge Foo Teik Fong pointed out that there were too many gates and access roads in USJ 11, thus proper planning and implementation were needed for a gated community.

“There should be a 100% agreement among the residents as problems may arise later when it comes to the collection of fees to pay for the gated community security,” Foo said when addressing the residents during the gathering at the USJ 11/3 playground.

“Even if 70% of the residents agree, it will still pose a problem between those who pay and those who refuse to,” he said.

Foo said a better method was for neighbouring residents to look out for each other.

According to the statistics, 20 crime cases happened in USJ 11/3 in the first half of this year, about three cases a month. They comprised eight car thefts, four snatch thefts and eight break-ins.

Foo said the targeted houses were those without lights at night.

Cars parked in dark places, far away from the houses, are also easy targets.

“Most of the break-ins occur between noon and 6pm when people are out working, leaving the house empty,” Foo said.

He advised the residents to call the police if they saw suspicious characters or cars in their neighbourhood.

Foo cited an example: “Two days ago someone called the police to report about robbers entering their neighbour's house. We arrived within five minutes and arrested two suspects.”

A housewife, who only wished to be identified as Aida, is a neighbour of the resident whose house was almost broken-in.

Aida said although the police came quickly and managed to catch the suspects, she was still concerned for the security in the neighbourhood.

“I agree with the plan for a gated community, I hope we can get a 100% support,” she said.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, who was present at the gathering, said the laws on gated and guarded community had to be reviewed.

“I've raised this issue in the state assembly, saying that we need a definite law on the gated and guarded community,” she said.

“The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is reluctant to approve the gated community concept as only the police are authorised to put up barricades. Thus, a 100% agreement among the residents is needed,” Yeoh said.

“Some residents do not agree as they are not willing to pay. It's not fair when those who do not want to pay are also enjoying the services. And when those who are paying hear of that, they may end up not paying as well,” she said.

A homemaker, who only wanted to be known as Lynn Tan, said the police had to be more effective in preventing crime.

“My neighbour's husband was robbed and killed,” she said. “We're getting to the point of paranoia.”

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