Worrisome workers’ quarters

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  • Friday, 17 Nov 2006

PETALING JAYA mayor Mohamad Roslan Sakiman declared the city free of squatters last month, but there seems to be one growing in the backyard of Perdana Emerald Condominium and Serviced Apartments in Mutiara Damansara. 

The place in question is not an illegal squatter home per se but a workers village of sorts, but basic infrastructure has been set up and the place is home to almost a hundred workers. 

Residents of Perdana Emerald Condominium have voiced their concern to the developer of the land, Mutiara Rini and its holding company Boustead Holdings, for several months but no action has been taken. 

Sungai Rawang will be widenedand deepened along a 5kmstretch under the project.

“The settlement is built on elevated ground at the edge of slopes and the safety of these structures are also questionable as they are built without proper foundation and just from planks and zinc, and is hence, easily susceptible to accidents such as fire, strong winds and landslides,” said Perdana Emerald Condominium and Serviced Apartments Residents Committee chairman Mohd Faisal Ahmad Fadzil. 

“As it is, each time there are strong winds, we could hear and see the flapping and flying zinc roofs, and each time, it left us to wonder if it was just another accident waiting to happen.” 

Residents have observed daily open burnings from the village, which is the rubbish disposal system for the village, and constant loud music blaring indiscriminately through the day and late at night. 

Condominium residents are also burdened with security issues as the workers trespass into the condominium compound to use as a short cut or to access the condo’s water supply. 

“The workers were relocated here after a huge fire completely gutted the former site on Feb 16,” said condominium residents committee vice chairman Michelle Wong. 

“We are living in fear that if another fire breaks out as the recent one, it will directly impact and affect our building and our safety due to the proximity.” 

The rubbish disposal system in the workers village is a simple open burning twice a day that occurred even at the height of the haze problem. 

“We made numerous reports to the Department of Environment about the open burning about the daily open burning but nothing is done,” said Mohd Faisal. 

Checks with the Petaling Jaya City Council revealed that the worker quarters were not illegal, but further investigation was required to ascertain if the developer had flouted any laws. 

“There are guidelines that the developer must adhere to ensure that things like health and sanitation is not neglected when they are given permission to build these quarters,” said MBPJ public relations officer Zainun Zakaria. 

“For big developers, we give them a sticker with a list of guidelines that they must follow. We will have to investigate if the developer has flouted any laws.” 

Calls were made to the developer but Star Metro could not obtain a comment as of press time.

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