Friday, April 11, 2008

Bukit Bintang soon to be squatter-free

Site visit: Fong (centre, in white shirt) listening to the business owners’ complaints.

IF EVERYTHING goes as planned then the Bukit Bintang constituency will be a squatter free area soon.

MP Fong Kui Lun said the constituency only had three squatter areas – Kampung Brunei, Kampung Bugis and Kampung Kerayong C.

“Moving squatters to Public Housing Project (PPR) housing takes time but when it is all completed then Bukit Bintang will be a zero-squatter constituency,” Fong said when visiting squatter businesses at Kampung Thai Thung in Salak South recently.

The business owners, who had been operating at their premises for the last 40 years, were asked to leave by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for a new development project.

The owners, who have yet to find an alternative place to move to, were unhappy that City Hall did not give them enough time.

“Moving to a new place is costly, not only do we have to find a new place of business, we will also have to find a new place to live,” said acupuncturist Stone Koh, who stays at the Razak Mansion flats opposite his shop.

Koh's neighbour Ah Fook who runs a workshop said the few premises had been around for years.
“It feels like a family here, we meet and talk every day.

“If we move out, we will definitely not have time to meet again as many of us will choose to rent at different areas,” Ah Fook said hoping DBKL would postpone demolition plans to a later date.
On April 3, DBKL officers came to begin demolition works after issuing a one-month notice to the business owners.

“I had earlier sent a letter to DBKL director-general Datuk Salleh Yusup requesting for the postponement and it had been accepted, however, the enforcement officers were not aware of it,” Fong said.

A business owner called Fong, and he immediately made a call to DBKL to inform them of the request and the officers left the area.

He also said many residents living in the public flats had asked if they could buy the unit as promised by the government.

“Many have voiced out their wish to buy and I will bring up the issue during the round table conference and in Parliament,” Fong said.

There are about 15,000 PPR homes in Kuala Lumpur, each with a monthly rental of RM124.

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