Saturday, March 10, 2012

Waller court residents want a full disclosure and detailed discussion of the proposal to redevelop the low costs flats.

Meeting with Waller Court residents on Friday, March 9, 2012

Waller court residents want a full disclosure and detailed discussion of the proposal to redevelop the low costs flats.

Waller Court, built in 1964, has nearly 500 flats with 36 shop lots. These flats, located in the center of the Ipoh City are occupied by those from the lower income group.

Today only nearly 60% are occupied and the rest are either vacant or rented out by the original tenants who have moved out.

These flats are too small as many are only with one room or at the most two room units. The design is old and there is an urgent need to upgrade the overall facilities.

In early 2002, the local City Council of Ipoh (DBI) came up with a proposal to redevelop the whole of Waller Court with a proposal to relocate the residents to Lahat. The DAP then led a “Save the Waller Court Campaign” and the following resolutions were adopted, namely:-

1. That we the tenants object to the redevelopment of Waller Court into a commercial complex and the forced eviction of occupants to elsewhere
2. That we disagree with the City Hall suggestion for the tenants to purchase the proposed RM35,000 low cost houses at Lahat Baru as the proposed location is inconvenient and far from the city.
3. That we urge DBI to renovate repair and maintain the Flats and continue to rent or sell to the present tenants.

We handed over the above resolutions to the local Council and after a few meetings, the Local l Council agreed to abort the plans to redevelop this area.

Two weeks ago it was widely reported that MCA had meetings with the residents and they had unanimously agreed to move out in phases and new flats would be built for them.

Many residents have come to meet the DAP to ask our help both to safe guard their rights and to help them get the best deal in the proposed redevelopment plans.

Sdr Chong Chee King (my political secretary), Sdr. Jeremy Chuah (my special assistant), Sdr Wasoo (my political secretary) and others were here together with me to help the tenants to get the best deal from DBI.

To day ‘s preliminary meeting was called to have an open discussion on the issues. The main question to find out was whether the tenants want to move and if not what they have in mind.

From the discussions held, the tenants expressed their strong wish to a full and thorough discussion with the DBI officials to ascertain

1) what are the proposals to relocate the tenants

2) will the tenants be given or have a right to purchase if new flats are built bearing in mind the tenants will not be able to get bank loans due to their age and financial ability.

3) what type of flats will be built for them

4) How many units will be billed as the total area of the present flats is over 8 acres

5) How long will rebuilding take and and who will bear the rebuilding cost? If private sector is assigned, will the project be awarded via open tender?

The tenants are not against redevelopment but the issue must be settled on a “win win” basis.

DAP shall be asking the DBI for a date to discuss this matter further.

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