Land earmarked for shoemakers to house illegal factories instead

THE Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) plans to use a plot of land near Vista Serdang in Seri Kembangan that was originally allocated for shoemakers to house illegal factories now operating from homes. 

Seri Kembangan assemblyman Datuk Liew Yuen Keong said in 2002 the state government had allocated a 12ha plot to a private company to develop a light industrial area to house Seri Kembangan’s shoemakers. 

He said the council too joined in the effort and acquired another 4.8ha to be added to the plot allocated by the state government. 

Liew...‘there are only about 50 shoemakers still operating in Seri Kembangan’

“There were about 1,000 shoemakers then, mostly operating from home. The government had wanted to centralise them and provide support services to help the industry grow,” he said. 

However, most of the overseas-based companies that used to engage the shoemakers in Seri Kembangan reduced their orders and turned their attention to China where the cost was cheaper and as a result the industry here had shrunk tremendously. 

“There are only about 50 shoemakers still operating, so the land we have is too big to house them. We now want other factories to be relocated to that land, too,” said Liew who is also an MPSJ councillor. 

He was speaking to reporters during a press conference at the MCA Serdang Division office on Thursday to announce efforts being taken to overcome the problem of factories operating within housing areas. 

Liew said the council would not have to survey the land and look into details such as the number of factories that could be built on the plot of land before it could be certain of how many of the illegal factories could be relocated there. 

“We would like to shift all illegal factories in Seri Kembangan to the site but given the size I do not think there will room to move all of them there as some of the factories have become quite big,” he said. 

He added that first preference would be given to shoemakers, those squatting on government land and utility reserves and factories that pose immediate problems to residents. 

He said the council would also look into the possibility of allowing some of factories operating on agricultural land to remain at their current location as long as they applied for land conversion. 

“However, this only applies to factories that are not too close to homes, does not contribute to pollution and does not bring about a high volume of heavy vehicle movement. 

Liew said the council had got to work fast to address the illegal factories problem as a preliminary study conducted by a consultant hired by the council had revealed that of the 274 illegal factories in the municipality 145 were located in Seri Kembangan. 

He said the council immediately asked for a committee headed by him (Liew) and including representatives from Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Department of Environment (DOE), Petaling Land Office and the various departments under MPSJ to be formed. 

He said the suggestion to use the plot of land allocated for the shoemakers was made after the committee studied various other suitable plots.

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