Johor Baru storm victims hope state gov't will move them to PPR units permanently

JOHOR BARU: Victims of the damaged homes at Flat Ros Merah and Kampung Melayu Pandan are hoping that the state government will help them move to the People’s Housing Project (PPR) Pelangi Indah, Ulu Tiram permanently.

According to housewife Helda Mohd Salleh, 49, she had been living at their family home in Kampung Melayu Pandan for the past 40 years and had never experienced such a traumatic incident.

"My three-year-old grandson was traumatised by the incident; we were sitting in the living room together at 1.30pm on Friday (Aug 12) with my husband and son before suddenly the huge tree behind our house came crashing down.

"The tree fell right on top of the house, crushing everything, including our family car," she said, adding that the estimated loss is about RM30,000.

The houses were already riddled with various issues due to the old structure and design, she informed.

"The house would often be flooded during the rainy season and water from the sewage drain nearby would flow into the house.

"So I really hope that the government will take my family into consideration in moving us into a better place," she said.

She said this when they met after the house key handing over ceremony to the victims of the storm at PPR Pelangi Indah, here on Wednesday (Aug 17).

Sharing the same wish is lorry driver Muhammad Farhan Kassim, 28, who has been renting the flat house at Flat Ros Merah, Taman Johor Jaya, for over a year with his wife and six-month-old daughter.

"Luckily, none of us was at the house during the incident; my wife was at work while our child was at the babysitter's house.

"When we came home, the roof was gone and everything inside the house had been destroyed," he said, adding that the damage was around RM10,000.

"I hope that the state government will be kind enough to let us apply to stay here at the PPR permanently and not temporarily," he said.

Meanwhile, Johor housing and local government committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor said that the state government would consider the victims' appeal if they wish to apply to stay permanently at the PPR Pelangi Indah.

"I have met with the victims and heard their appeal, and we will consider their application to stay here.

"Every PPR house is designed to help B40 families and those who earn a monthly income of below RM3,000.

"I have already asked the Johor State Housing Development Corporation (PKPJ) to collect their data to see if they met the requirement," he said.

All 18 families who were previously placed at the Dewan Serbaguna Taman Johor Jaya temporary relief shelter would be placed temporarily at the PPR while waiting for their damaged house to be repaired.

"They can stay here until the end of this year or as long as their house repairs have not been completed.

"The cost of repair is estimated to be more than RM1mil, and the contractors have already started the cleaning process of the damaged property," said Mohd Jafni.

Each family had also been given a one-off RM2,500 cash aid, with the RM1,500 deposit including the water and electricity meter bill being borne by the government.

"They do not need to pay a single cent as long as they are living here," he added.

On Friday (Aug 12), several houses and flats in the Masai area were affected by an ongoing heavy downpour and strong winds that blew away their roofs.

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