Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life savings gone into sinking homes

Residents of a village are crying foul because the houses they built on a former dumpsite are tilting dangerously.

(Free Malaysia Today) IPOH: Ten families who used their life savings to build their dream homes 15 years ago are now having sleepless nights – their houses are slowing sinking.

Life for these families from Kampung Tersusun Buntong Tiga Tambahan has become a daily nightmare since then.

The distraught residents feel they have been short-changed by the state government into building their houses on a former dumpsite.

The families are former squatters who have been relocated from various squatter areas by the state government to this village which has about 500 houses.

The affected families had invested between RM50,000 and RM80,000 each from their life savings including the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to build their houses on the land given by the state government.

But to their horror, the families found out that the houses were built on an unstable dumpsite. With the passage of years, their houses began to tilt.

One of the affected residents, E Sutharam, 70, a schoolbus driver, told reporters today that he had withdrawn RM75,000 from his EPF to build his house in 1997. But after two years, he saw cracks appearing on the walls.

Over the years, the foundation of his house started to sink and now his house has tilted to one side.

Fearing for the safety of his family, Sutharam moved out, saying that his house may collapse at any time.

He is also worried that he might lose his job because of his age and wonders how he is going to pay the monthly RM450 for his rented house.

Gas-like odour

Another victim, A Sellahma, 70, took out all her family savings of RM50,000 for her house in 1994.

According to her, the house is now tilting and the back portion has sunk. But she said she does not want to move out to her children’s place because she has invested all her savings in the house.

Residents have also detected gas-like odour emitting from the ground and claimed it is flammable.

Another resident K Subramaniam, 70, also a schoolbus driver, had invested RM80,000 into his now sinking house and feels the state government has short-changed the residents.

All the 10 families had approached the state government in 2003 just before the general election. They also sought the help of former state MIC chief G Rajoo who allegedly promised them alternative houses or government quarters.

But until today, the state government has yet to fulfil its promise of repairing the damaged houses or providing alternative housing.

Meanwhile, DAP Buntong assemblyman A Sivasubramaniam said he highlighted the plight of the residents at the Perak State Legislative Assembly sitting on Aug ,3 last year.

But he claimed the state government was evasive in its reply.

He also alleged that the state government had made election promises in 2004 and 2008 of providing relief to the residents but they were not fulfilled

He added that he would raise the issue again at the next assembly sitting on April 12.

He also suggested that the government could relocate the residents to 27 unoccupied houses in Taman Buntong Ria.