Faulty lifts raise ire of residents

Families, including the senior citizens have been forced to wait up to 10 minutes to use the lift at Palm Garden Apartment. — Courtesy photo

RESIDENTS of Block B in Palm Garden Apartments, Bandar Baru Klang, are upset and frustrated due to a persistent issue with the building’s lift system.

Out of the two lifts available, only one is currently operational, forcing the 252-unit block’s residents to endure long waits and crowded lifts.

This situation particularly affects senior citizens and disabled residents, who find the excessive waiting time – often around eight minutes on average –extremely challenging.

During peak hours between 6am and 8am, as residents leave for work and children head to school, the wait becomes even more intolerable.

Many residents are left with no choice but to squeeze into overcrowded lifts or resign themselves to the extended wait.

The problem recurs in the evenings when residents return home from work.

Wheelchair-bound Ong Choon, 68, said there were actually two lifts per block, not including a service or emergency lift.

“Our issue is that out of the two lifts, one has been out of service for months,” said Ong, a diabetic who is a double amputee.

He complained about having to leave his unit for a medical check-up at 7am, only to spend up to 10 minutes waiting for a chance to use the lift.

Zulkifli Musa, 36, who has lived at the apartment since June 2018, criticised the joint management body (JMB) for its inaction and lack of urgency in addressing the problem.

The JMB is responsible for the management and maintenance of the medium-cost apartment.

“The lift being out of service for such a long time is absurd,” said Zulkifli, who is in the food and beverage industry.

Meera Bai Ruben, 45, a trainer who is one of the pioneering residents of the apartment since 2004, said the problems with the lift began in early 2008.

“It has become a perennial problem. I believe it is due to poor maintenance as the lift would stop working once every three months.

“Sometimes both lifts would break down at the same time and residents would have to use the stairs,” she said.

Meera said this year, one lift had been out of order since February.

“Due to the inconvenience, the majority of residents had asked the JMB to allow us to use the emergency lift, which they did in early May,” she said.

However, she claimed that the residents were concerned that the emergency lift had mechanical issues, due to the rattling and grinding noises as it ascended to the upper floors.

“At times, the lift would not move for a while after it stopped at some floors, leaving residents trapped inside,” she said, adding that the residents were scared to use the emergency lift.

Klang Royal City Council (MBDK) Corporate Communications Department director Norfiza Mahfiz said the city council was aware of the faulty lifts.

She said the Commissioner of Buildings had mediated on the matter with the Selangor housing and culture committee chairman Borhan Aman Shah’s representative, the Selangor Housing and Property Board, and the apartment’s JMB, in the presence of Block B residents.

“Our discussions were held on March 12, 16, and again on May 2.

“We have advised the JMB to replace the lift that is not in working order, as soon as possible.

“The cost of repairs must be made transparent to the Block B residents, and a notice needs to be put up,” she said.

Norfiza said for the moment, the residents would have to use the two lifts, namely the emergency lift and the passenger lift that was in working order.

“We have also advised the JMB to find a new approach for the cleaners to bring down domestic waste in the long-term, instead of using the lifts.

“This is to ensure the lifts are kept in good condition,” she said.

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