THE 15-storey flats at Sungai Pari Towers, once the tallest structure in Ipoh, is now a shadow of its former self.
Based on complaints from tenants regarding maintenance issues, The Star visited the council-owned flats to look at the situation.
The sight was truly appalling.
The tower, a part of Sungai Pari Towers’ 11 blocks, was literally abandoned, with only three tenants renting out its ground premises — a convenience store, a barber and a residential unit.
The rest of the 14 floors are empty.
Units have been broken into by vandals, who have stripped away all electrical fittings and anything worth selling, leaving broken windows, doors and rubbish strewn all over the place.
Even the surrounding four-storey blocks fare no better, as many units are empty, public amenities missing and moss growing everywhere.
The owner of the convenience store at the ground floor of the 15-storey block, who wanted to be known as Chan, said tenants started moving out about three years ago after they got fed up with the lack of maintenance carried out by the Ipoh City Council (MBI).
“Despite paying our rent, council workers barely come around to fix the broken lights or trim the grass.
“As living conditions here turned worse, many tenants could not take it anymore and decided to search for better lodgings elsewhere.
“The situation was not helped by the council’s indecisiveness. They announced that they would rebuild the flats but have not taken any action,” he said.
Sungai Pari Towers, which was built in 1963 for lower income families, is rented out by the council and consists of 288 units in 11 blocks.
Wong, who operates the barber shop next to Chan’s store, was disappointed by the council’s lack of attention to the maintenance of the property as she enjoyed living there.
“After staying here for over 40 years, I have grown to love the area as it is quiet, peaceful and close to town.
“Besides the theft of drain covers and fittings by vandals, there is almost no crime here and I feel safe even when I walk back to my unit in the wee hours of the morning.
“This is why I am saddened by how it seems that the council does not care for the tenants who continue to live here, even when we continuously lodged complaints over broken lights and clogged drains,” she said.
When contacted, Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim said the council was in the middle of drawing up plans to redevelop the apartment blocks.
“The state executive council has already given us the green light to redevelop the Sungai Pari Towers in a way that the current 141 tenants would not need to be relocated.
“We just need time to finalise the plans and will make an announcement when the time comes,” he said.