Fix maintenance issues, say residents

Forestalling existing problem: The new railings anchored to the existing rusty ones can be used to climb by anyone. — filepic

Forestalling existing problem: The new railings anchored to the existing rusty ones can be used to climb by anyone. — filepic

THE Selangor government has been urged to provide a solution for the maintenance issues that have plagued the residents of PPR Kota Damansara for years.

PPR Kota Damansara residents association chairman Johari Nander said the lackadaisical attitude of the management, Perumahan Dan Hartanah Selangor Sdn Bhd (PHSSB), could not be condoned any longer.

“If they are unable to step up and claim responsibility then they should hand the management to someone else.

“The management has to take into account the residents’ security and comfort even if we are paying cheap rent,” he said.

“They have never involved us in the management, as should be done,” he added.

MCA veteran and former Petaling Jaya councillor Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou believes that someone should be held accountable.

“There is no point admitting guilt and resigning, it will not solve the problem. They have to uphold their post and find a solution,” he said.

He believes there are two options for the flats; one is to demolish the place and rebuild it while offering rent subsidy or the second option is to renovate the place.

“The second option is more viable and it is best to vacate the area for safety reasons,” he added.

Local council expert and lawyer Derek Fernandez believes that the Selangor state executive councillors should be held responsible for the death of two boys at the PPR in the last two years.

“LPHS (Selangor Housing and Property Board), as the owner of the premises, has a duty of care towards the residents and this is to ensure as far as reasonably possible that the building is safe.

“The problem could have been easily rectified and another death could have been avoided,” he stressed.

Their lack of maintenance can amount to a criminal offence under Section 304A of the Penal Code for causing death through negligence, he said.

“No one has stepped forth to take responsibility. Someone should be sacked or resign for the loss of two innocent lives,” he added.

Fernandez said insufficient funds should not be an excuse for the state government or their subsidiaries.

Meanwhile Friends of Kota Damansara, a non-governmental organisation helping residents to address the problem of poor maintenance, said there should be a check-and-balance system.

Its chairman Jeffrey K. Phang said the housing exco should ensure the system was in place and MBPJ as the organisation responsible for PPR should ensure that their contractor (PHSSB) set that up.

He said currently there was no real meaningful residents’ participation in the management of the building. PHSSB should hold regular meetings with the residents.

“The lack of knowledge on residents’ rights and the level of education have resulted in the PPR residents continuously being marginalised.

“The committee will have the responsibility of defining a system that is acceptable to both management and residents.”

He added that any unresolved issues should be raised to the state housing committee chairman and any delay in his response should be addressed to the Select Committee for Poverty or Local Government.

The Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) hearing for the PPR Kota Damansara issue will be held today.

The meeting is being held to hear the grouses of the residents and other parties after five-year-old Muhammad Zul Hazriq Danish Alden fell to his death through a gap in the railing of their sixth storey unit at the People’s Housing Projects (PPR) flat in Section 8 while playing with his friends.

Another child, Tinesh Raj, five, died in similar circumstances after he leaned over a rusty railing and fell to his death from the 14th floor on June 21, 2013.