THE residents of Section 14 (Jalan 14/1-14/15) first fostered a close relationship around 2013 when they objected to the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Highway (Kidex) development in Petaling Jaya.
After idea for the highway fell through, the group stayed united and began to tackle other neighbourhood issues collectively.
They have managed to reduce crime and indiscriminate parking, and established a cleaner neighbourhood, thanks to their unity.
Their residents association (RA) was formed in 2013 and is among the more active RAs in the city.
Its chairman, Selva Sugumaran Perumal, is a popular and vocal resident, who has often championed the issues in the neighbourhood.
“The residents united to protest against the Kidex Highway, and we have since stayed together,” he said.
The neighbourhood has 650 houses, two apartments and 6,000 residents. However, despite being surrounded by new developments, it faces issues with old infrastructure and problems such as burst pipe and low water pressure.
Selva said the newer developments had stronger water pumps, enabling better water flow compared to his neighbourhood.
“Last year was the first time since the 1950s that we had water cut for two days. We had to rely on water tanks.
“The old pipes are constantly bursting. Our hope is for our old piping system to be changed,” he said.
Selva said the association had fostered a good relationship with the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) , enabling it to get matters addressed.
He added that issues such as crime and littering had been reduced by 80%.
The residents conduct patrols and use Whatsapp to keep each other informed of suspicious characters or activity in the neighbourhood.
“MBPJ installed CCTVs in our neighbourhood. In addition to providing us with enhanced security, it has also helped us identify litterbugs. We usually advise them and they stop doing it.
“I tell the residents that if they leave their bags of trash everywhere, it will mar the image of the neighbourhood and reduce our property price,” said Selva.
He added that the neighbourhood also provided free parking stickers to residents to help cultivate proper parking behaviour.
“We teach the residents to park without causing road obstruction.
“Non-residents who park in the neighbourhood will be towed and summoned by the council or traffic police,” he said.
A recent storm saw the better side of the residents, who came forward to help clear the fallen trees and clean up the playground.
“When we work together, we can ensure the neighbourhood benefits in many ways, such as reduction in crime and being clean,” said Selva.
Residents who wish to become members should contact Selva.