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Monday, March 9, 2009

Vacant units can be rented out for various activities

THE Selangor state government has decided to rent out vacant flats in various parts of Selangor to organisations who want to use the space.

Chempaka assemblyman Iskandar Abdul Samad and his colleagues are inviting non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to apply for the units so that the space is not wasted.

“In Lembah Subang, for example, there are 800 units from the 11th floor to the 17th floor that are still vacant. The NGOs can use these as places to shelter old folk and the disabled,” Iskandar said.

He added that some of the flats did not get the response it deserved from the public due to the locations which were not strategic.

All together now: Residents lending a hand during the gotong-royong.

“Anyone can come to us and apply for the units. They can use these units as training centres, education centres or or even shelter homes,” Iskandar said.

He said the organisations would have to submit proposals and the local governments would study the documents and suggest the best possible plan.

“Each floor has two wings and each wing has eight units, which are 650 sq ft each.

“The best thing would be for them to take one wing and we can block up the wing for them to use,” he said.

He added that they would even consider cutting the prices to allow NGOs to use the facilities.

Iskandar said he believed that the move would help the NGOs better serve the community.

“The housing and local government ministry wanted to sell the units but, before we do that, we need to spruce it up and change the image,” he said.

He added that the NGOs’ activities would promote cooperation among the residents.

Iskandar was speaking at a gotong-royong organised by the Taman Sri Angsana Hilir Residents Association on March 8.

More than 300 trees were planted by the residents in an effort to reduce smoke and dust from vehicles on the Middle Ring Road Highway II (MRR2).

The trees were supplied by the National Landscape Department who advised on the type of tree suitable to be planted in the area as well.

The event was the first gotong-royong in 16 years since the housing project was developed.

“We wanted to forge a good relationship between the residents as well as the local councils with this event,” residents association chairman Faizal Mohammad Arshad, 35, said.

He said there were 237 homes in the area.

He added that representatives from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), Alam Flora, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Pemadam also joined in the activity.

TNB, which has a sub-station in the area, agreed to clean its side of the area by planting trees and repairing the drains in addition to donating some money to the cause.

Pandan MP Datuk Ong Tee Keat, who was represented by his personal assistant, also donated money as his contribution to the efforts in keeping the earth green.

Iskandar hoped that residents in Ampang would emulate the Taman Sri Angsana Hilir residents.

“The problem is no longer with infrastructure as we are willing to help but it is the people themselves.

“Events like these help make the people feel responsible for their homes as well as their neighbours,” he said.

During the event, there was also an anti-drug exhibition and a talk on dengue prevention.


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