Thursday, February 24, 2011

SPAD, acting like 'Ah Longs', stuck notices on trees in front of TTDI homes!

February 22, 2011

Mrs Wong walking into her home with a copy of the SPAD notice in her hand. — Pictures by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Residents of Jalan Pinggir Zaaba, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) here are having sleepless nights worrying about their homes which they are set to lose to the proposed mass rapid transit (MRT) system come May.
On February 10, they were shocked to find land acquisition notices stuck on trees in front their homes.
Residents who spoke to The Malaysian Insider said it was disrespectful to paste the notice on trees and also unprofessional for the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to do such a thing.
“Being forced to leave the residential area is like commanding me to divorce my wife of 23 years,” said a disgruntled Salleh Muhammad.
The notice tells residents that the government is in the process of implementing the Klang Valley MRT project and that their land is more likely to be acquired for the project.
Although the homes in Jalan Pinggir Zaaba are not as grand as those in nearby Taman Zaaba, many were recently renovated.

Standing in front his newly-renovated home, Helmi is lost for words over the MRT project.
For someone who just renovated his home of 11 years last November, Helmi Al’ Attas said he could only feel cheated and sad after learning about the land acquisition notice.
“I saved really hard over the period of 11 years to renovate my home,” said Helmi who bought his property for more than RM400,000 at the time.
“My son spent at least RM500,000 on his home and that does not include renovations. We wanted to live close by and this is what we get,” said a retired teacher who only identified herself as Mrs Wong.
Her home, together with 32 others including a corner lot her son just moved into a month ago, will be affected by the MRT project.
She said she has lived on the road for 34 years, “long enough to witness the birth of TTDI.”
Residents here pointed out that they have not objected to many projects in the neighbourhood that have disrupted their peace.
Having already lost their “feng shui” due to a three-metre-high wall built 20 metres from their gates, the residents have broken their silence and questioned the need for the MRT project in their area.

The SPAD notice stuck on a tree.
“Back then, my house cost me just RM55,600. It is now worth a million due to the area and its developments,” said Mrs Wong, who said she would welcome an underground train project rather than an elevated one.
Pouring out her distress over the prospect of having to relocate, she told The Malaysian Insider that she welcomes development in TTDI but not if it will cost the residents their homes.
“We let them build roads and block our houses with a brick wall which was supposed to minimise noise from the roads. But in the end, this is what we get for letting everything go,” she added.
Retiree Salleh’s main concern was parting with his neighbours who have become his best friends.
Salleh, who has been living in the area for 22 years, said he is comfortable being where he is as he and his family — spanning three generations — have grown accustomed to the noise coming from the road.
“At this time, I’m sceptical if I should or should not continue with the renovations,” said Helmi, who has organised and sent a petition to SPAD while still replacing the flooring of his home.
The residents are also unhappy with the inconsistent details on the project and the short time span given to debate on the issue.
“We are yet to receive a visit from SPAD but at the moment, I feel lost and speechless about the whole scenario,” said Helmi.

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