The residents say they want the structures, five folding gates, a boom gate and a guard post, to remain for safety and security reasons, despite a notice from MBI for demolition slated on Wednesday.
Resident Lee Chaw Hong, 64, who has been living in the area for two years, lamented that it is puzzling why MBI want to demolish the structures that were installed with the support and consent of residents.
“Before the gates were installed in September last year, cases of house break-ins and thefts were rather frequent.
“That was why we decided to have the gates put up. They are meant to improve the security and the safety of the residents and their homes.
“We definitely want the gates to stay and the coucil should not simply take them down,” said the homemaker.
Another resident, Aghelan Ganesan, 48, said that other crimes were also prevalent before the gates were put up.
“Cases of snatch theft, and thefts of vehicle batteries used to happen.
“We don’t want MBI to take down the gates and I think we have strong reasons to keep them,” he said.
According to the Persatuan Penduduk Taman Bercham Sinar, the residents’ association that was formed last March, plans to have the residential area fenced have been considered since October 2016.
“We began working on the paperwork after the developer stopped providing security patrols.
“We filed our application for a permit to fence up the residential area with MBI for the first time last April, and subsequently resent it in August,” said Ting Wai Long, who is the RA’s vice-president.
The gates, added Ting, were erected in September while waiting for MBI’s approval.
However, in October, MBI rejected the RA’s application in a written reply, saying that the construction of the gates was an offence under the Road, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133).
The RA was also told to take down the structures within 30 days or the council would take further action to demolish them.
“We filed an appeal with MBI in November, explaining in detail the necessity of having the gates.
“We also submitted supporting documents gathered from all 89 families whose homes are within the gated and guarded area,” he said, adding that a second reply by MBI later in the same month remained the same.
Ipoh City Councillor Aldrich Low, who held a briefing with the residents on Monday, said that he received a notice from MBI during a meeting last week that demolition of the gates was slated for Wednesday.
“The structures are deemed by MBI an obstruction of public spaces and public access to the roads. It also said that the boom gate and guard post are located on MBI reserve land.
“I feel MBI’s Town Planning Department should come and explain to the residents their decision and allow more discussions. That’s why I arranged this meeting.
“But it is saddening that no one from the department turned up today,” he said, adding that he will bring up the matter with MBI again and push for a delay of the demolition.
Low, who is also Ipoh Barat MCA division Youth chief, also revealed that an objection that came from a resident who lives just outside of the affected area, is the main reason why the local council want the structures taken down.
“Applications for gated and guarded communities will only be considered provided there is no objection from any of the residents.
“Since the majority of the residents want it, I will attempt to speak to the objector,” he added.
According to the residents, the entire East Eden housing area has some 170households, Some 89 households living along Lebuh Bercham Selatan 1/13, Lebuh Bercham Selatan 1/14, Jalan Bercham Sinar 2 and Jalan Bercham Sinar 3, are seeking to have their area turned into a gated and guarded community.
Ting also pointed out that the structures would not obstruct traffic, and in the event of emergencies police, fire engines and ambulances can access the area easily.
“It is important to note that the proposal calls for our area to be fenced up but not locked. All RA committee members, the guards and also residents have the access keys,” he said.
Businessman Liew Puck Lee, who was one of the first residents to move in after the residential area was completed some three years ago, said that it is important for MBI to consider what the majority of the residents in the area want.
“It doesn’t make sense if the objection is actually from someone living outside of the proposed gated and guarded area.
“Furthermore, there are several other access roads if motorists want to get to Taman Bercham Tropicana or Tambun nearby.
“We want the area fenced up for our own safety and security. That should be the bigger concern,” said the 53-year-old.