Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Residents to stay put in ‘unsafe premises’

(From left) Ramasamy Kolandapayan, Chan Kim Fah and Goh Toh Hoo showing the land titles to their shop lots. Pix by Rosela Ismail
KUALA LUMPUR: SHOPLOT owners of Block A of the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) Flats in Jalan Kuching are in the lurch over a demolition notice issued by City Hall recently.
They want the council to justify the notice put up on one of the walls of block A and B last Friday.
The notice stated that the buildings are not safe and the building owner is required to undertake remedial works, fence it, or demolish it within 14 days of the notice issuance.
Failure to comply would result in a penalty of RM250 imposed by City Hall every day from the date the notice was issued.
Block B is unoccupied and abandoned while there are only eight occupied shop lots on the ground floor of Block A.
The residential units above are all vacant.
A shop owner Goh Toh Hoo, 70, said it was irresponsible of City Hall to put up a small notice without consulting the occupants.
“They (City Hall) should have served us the notice individually. None of the officers came to see us regarding this,” said Goh who has been running a pet shop in Block A since 1985.
“I’m not even squatting here. I am the rightful owner of this property and have title for the premises. If the building is demolished, where are we going to move? We don’t know what to do,” he said.
Ramasamy Kolandapayan, 77, who owns a sundry shop at the same block, said: “Even though the building is not safe to be occupied as City Hall claims, they should have approached us or notified us individually.
“I am sure City Hall has the addresses of our homes and shops. Why can’t they mail it to us?
“I came to know about the notice after receiving a call from another owner. If not, I wouldn’t have known about this.
“Fourteen days is a very short notice. I have been doing business here for the past 23 years. Where are we going to move now? If they want us to move out to restore the building or demolish it, then we should be provided with an alternative place to go. I’m not moving out.”
He also said it was not fair to him as he had made a one-year agreement with his tenant.
“If they (tenants) are asked to move out, then I would have to compensate them,” he said.
Another owner, Chan Kim Fah, 55, who has been running a used car business there since 1994, said he would neither move out nor pay the penalty.
“I’m not doing anything against the law. I have the title for the premises and have duly paid my assessment fees so I will not move out,” said Chan while showing his land title to the media during a press conference recently.
The residents had sought help from Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng who said he had sent a letter to City Hall requesting the council to arrange for a meeting with the shop lot owners to find an amicable solution.
The flats, consisting of 15 blocks, were developed by PKNS 30 years ago. Ten blocks comprising 380 units were sold to the Defence Ministry in December 1975 while another five blocks comprising 220 units were sold to the public.
Strata titles for the properties were issued by the Federal Territories Land Office in 2008.
The 10 blocks — A, B, C, D, K, L, M, N, P and Q were occupied by Defence Ministry personnel who moved out in 2007.
The blocks have been abandoned and since then have been reported to be in a deplorable condition.
Meanwhile, a City Hall spokesman said it was a standard procedure to issue such notice on premises deemed not safe.
It said the notice was issued after receiving complaints on the condition of the flats and to prevent it from worsening.
He said the notice was first issued on Aug 7 but was later revoked and a new one issued on Aug 15.
Related news: Shopowners at PKNS flats told to repair building

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