Monday, March 7, 2011

Uneasy about barbed wires

Danger lurks (Photo by M. RAJAN of The overgrowth covers the barbed fence used to deter outsiders from wandering into the PKNS flats.

Source: (By Dawn Chan, 6/3/2011)
Families living at the Selangor State Development Corporation flats in Jalan Kuching are wary of going for a stroll or letting their children run freely around their neighbourhood. For about two months now, the presence of barbed wires placed at areas surrounding 10 blocks of abandoned flats owned by the Defence Ministry purportedly to prevent public access, has the residents living at the 40-year-old housing area worried.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who highlighted the issue on Friday, said rolls of barbed wires, measuring approximately 0.6m high, surrounds the derelict three-storey walkup flats.

The ministry owns 380 flat units. It used to house army personnel before they moved out in 2009. Since then, its been abandoned and in a state of neglect with overgrown lallang and broken windows. The manhole covers and other metal fixtures have been stripped off its structures.
Lim, who visited the area, said, in 2009, he wrote to PKNS about the flats and was told that the Block A, B, C, D, K, L, M, N, P and Q had been sold off to the ministry in 1975. Five more blocks consisting 216 units were sold to the public, two more were rented out and converted into PKNS's office. Therefore, the ministry is responsible for the upkeep the 10 blocks owned by the ministry while the remaining blocks are maintained by PKNS. Two years ago, Lim said, he wrote to Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi asking if there were proposals to do something about the abandoned flats but it went unanswered.
"I hope the ministry will take away these barbed wires, as it is endangering the residents and the public. The street lamps are not lit at night at these unoccupied blocks." He said the ministry should put up barricades which are not dangerous to the public before any untoward incident happens. He added that he received a complaint from a couple whose child was injured after tripping over the barbed wires at night.
Lim said City Hall, under its Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974, is empowered to get the Defence Ministry to do something about the situation. Under Section 85(1)(b), Lim said City Hall has the right to get the ministry to remove the barbed wires to keep the area free from threats that endanger public safety. "If the ministry does not comply, it faces a fine of not more than RM2,000 and further fine of not more than RM200 for each day the barbed wires are not removed. "City Hall can also step in to remove the barbed wires and bill the ministry for the removal work," he said, adding the billing is not subjected to any appeal or review in court.

Related news: Child trips over barbed wire fencing at abandoned flats

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