Monday, December 21, 2015

In Ipoh land deal, shophouses take precedence over school field

December 15, 2015 2:27 PM MYT

IPOH (Dec 15): Parents of children at St. Philomena school on Jalan Silibin, Ipoh, are not happy with the state government for alienating a piece of land beside the school for a commercial development, rejecting their application to turn it into a school field.

R. Jeyaseelan, 43, chairman of the school’s Parent Teacher Association, said the school had been rejected, despite applying for the 0.6ha (1.5-acre) plot a number of times over the past 20 years.

He said many parents, as well as residents living nearby, were disappointed to learn that the land had been approved for a state foundation and a private property developer to build shoplots.

“There are 500 pupils in the school and, since the school’s formation in 1938, they have had no designated sports field.

“Every year, the sports day has to be held on the Tarcissian Convent field nearby.

“Their physical education lessons have also always been carried out on borrowed school fields or at Ipoh Stadium.

“We feel it is unfair that the school’s request for a field all these years has taken a back seat in favour of a commercial development project,” he said after attending a hearing on their complaint with Ipoh City Council (MBI) today.

Lim Garden resident, A.Jayanti, 48, whose house is nearby, said she and her neighbours were also opposed to the development because the area was unsuitable for construction.

“Previous work to remove the old buildings on the site caused the walls and floor in my porch to crack. This also happened to my neighbours.

“People from the state foundation have also come to take pictures of the ground, which has started to sink. We are afraid any development there will only result in adverse effects,” she said.

The former civil servant, who now teaches tuition classes, said a majority of the occupants in her neighbourhood were elderly citizens and some were bedridden.

“We do not want any accidents to occur from construction, or pollution we are not prepared to deal with,” she said.

Ipoh Barat MP M. Kula Segaran, who is assisting the residents and parents with their complaint, said building shoplots in the area would only contribute to already existing traffic congestion problems and create safety problems for the primary school children.

“As it is, they have to be extra careful crossing the main road near the school. Starting a commercial area there is also bound to add to parking congestion in an already saturated area,” he said.

He said a complaint had also been forwarded to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, adding that the state government promised to respond soon, as informed by State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim, who chaired the MBI hearing today.

The Malaysian Insider attempts to contact Rusnah for a comment have so far not been successful. – The Malaysian Insider

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