KAMPUNG Baru Sungai Buloh folk want the illegal factories and workshops located in residential areas in their village to be relocated or demolished.
According to them, the first few factories were built more than 10 years ago and the number increased over the years, with this year recording a spike in the number of illegal factories.
Of the 500 houses in the residential area, the villagers estimate that some 50 units have been turned into illegal factories for furniture, metalworks, epoxy production and related businesses.
Lin Ah Lin said a furniture factory was set up next door two years ago.
“The factory operates from 9am to 11pm daily, even on weekends and holidays. It is really noisy when work is being done.
“My family is also worried about the danger this factory poses because of its proximity.
“The factory uses plywood and other easily combustible materials that are fire hazards,” he said.
The 63-year-old, who grew up in the village, was frustrated by the lack of action by the local authority despite numerous complaints lodged via the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK).
Lin and fellow villager Chang Yok Moy said their families had been threatened by the factory operators when they lodged the complaints. Both have since lodged police reports on the threats.
“A group of men came to my house and verbally abused my family after finding out about the complaint I had lodged,” said Chang, 67.
“Besides the stress and pollution that we have to endure daily, we are also worried about our safety.”
Chang and her neighbours have witnessed one of the factories using cranes to transport concrete pipes and they are worried about what would happen should a pipe crash onto their houses.
Mother-of-three Ng Lea Yeong was concerned about the effects of the industrial environment on her young children and newborn.
“The factories operate from morning until night. The noise is often unbearable and the problem is worsened by the dust and chemical smell emitted from those premises.
“These factories are also fire and safety hazards, they shouldn’t be located in a residential area,” said the 42-year-old manager.
Ng questioned the lack of action by the local authority and why residential land was being used for commercial or industrial activities.
Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh JKKK chairman Hoo Sook Wan said the worst affected areas were Jalan Hillview and Jalan Tengah, where there were about 20 factories sandwiched between houses.
She said the drainage system had also been damaged because of the haphazard manner in which the factories were constructed.
“The factories started opening up when residents who moved out leased the land to contractors or businessmen.
“The JKKK has been lodging complaints at the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) since 2009. The council has occasionally issued stop-work notices and slapped compounds on the factory operators, but this does not serve as any deterrent as they simply resume work a few days later.”
She pointed out that several fires had recently occurred in the nearby industrial area and nine factories were gutted.
“We are very worried. A fire can easily start in a factory and spread to houses next door.
“Who will take responsibility then?” Hoo questioned.
She said residents wanted MBSA and the Land Office to take immediate action by issuing notices for the illegal factories to relocate or be demolished.
“Our area has been zoned as residential under the MBSA Local Draft Plan 2020 (Third Revision).
“During a briefing on the amended plan in late September, we were informed by MBSA that the council would form a special team to look into our issue.
“We hope MBSA will fulfill their promise and rid the village of illegal factories,” she added.