HOUSEWIFE M. Selvi struggles to bring her husband for his dialysis treatments every time the lifts break down at the Medan Angsana flats in Bandar Baru Air Itam, Penang.
The 58-year-old, who stays with her family on the fifth floor of Block 2C, said she would need to use the narrow staircase during each breakdown.
“For many years, the lifts have broken down quite often. My husband is an amputee and depends on a wheelchair to move around, and he needs to go for his dialysis every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“Every time the lifts are spoilt, my son and I would have to carry him down five flights of stairs,” she said during a visit by state Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo on Tuesday.
Jagdeep announced that one of the two lifts in each of Blocks 2C and 2G would be replaced.
The total cost is RM445,200, of which the state government will fund 80% while the residents have to pay the remaining 20%. The project is expected to complete in six months.
“This year, we have approved 25 projects in Penang, totalling RM3.012mil. There are 23 more projects still under consideration,” said Jagdeep.
Another resident Goh Ah Nui, 72, thanked the state for the effort as it would enable her to run her errands more easily.
“Since I have walking difficulties, I can’t go out when the lifts break down. I have to ask a neighbour to get me the things I need,” she said.
Over at the Kedah Road flats in George Town, residents are also facing faulty lift problems.
Instead of four working lifts, they have to contend with two working ones for the past four months.
The folk are stumped that their residents association (RA) is urging them to contribute RM70 per unit to get the repairs done.
Resident Mohd Koyah Ahmad, 50, said repairs to the motherboards of the damaged lifts would cost RM20,350 but most of the residents did not agree to pay for them because they had been paying service charges.
“It doesn’t make sense. We’re already paying maintenance fees. Why do we need to pay extra?
“It’s only a matter of time before the two other lifts break down too as they are doing twice the work now,” he said when met at the flats recently.
He showed a letter from the RA dated July 28, explaining the damage and repair costs.
In the letter, the RA stated that the maintenance fees paid by unit owners could not cover the lift repairs because the cost was too high.
The RA explained that the service charges covered only utility bills, cleaning services, security guards’ wages and general maintenance of the flat’s common facilities, which came to RM18,260 a month.
When contacted, RA chairman Tay Chye Hock confirmed the letter.
“We are not forcing residents to contribute but it would be much appreciated,” he said.
Tay added that the RA may need to apply for funds from the Penang Island City Council or state Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow through his Padang Kota service centre at the flats.