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and its story
Foodcourt: 'Overwhelming objection'
USJ residents turned up by the hordes Friday night to object to turning USJ8 police reserved land into foodcourt. ADUN Lee Hwa Beng concedes: MPSJ cannot ignore People's overwhelming support for the police station.
Posted on 03.38pm Mar 26, 2005
By Jeff Ooi
Subang Jaya, March 26, 2005:
USJ residents turned up by the hordes last night to oblige a 'public hearing' that is evidently non-compliant to the Town and Country Planning Act.
Prior to last night's 'public hearing', MPSJ has gone through a flip-flop of "approval - stop-work - approval - stop-work" farce pertaining to a private company's proposal to turn police reserved land into a foodcourt.
The outcome: State assemblyman Lee Hwa Beng, who convened and chaired the meeting, had to admit that USJ residents' objection to the foodcourt project is too overwhelming to ignore.
He publicly promised to file a report, together with Gilbert Yeoh and PC Yeoh - representatives of MPSJ-appointed Jawatankuasa Penduduk (JKP) for Zone 2 and 7, respectively - to tell the municipal council that the foodcourt should be called off once and for all.
Those who turned up at the hearing also criticised the MPSJ council president (picture left) for awarding a planning order and preliminary approval for piling and substructure work to Pack Connexion Sdn Bhd, which has sub-leased the land from another company called V SAT Intelligence Sdn Bhd, to develop the USJ8 police reserved land into a food court.
Despite veiled threats of an imminent conflict between racial groups being spread by unknown parties during the day, the 'public hearing' was well attended by some 250 people.
It was held in full respect of decorum. The presence of police also gave the residents a peace of mind.
To his credit, ADUN Lee has ensured that everyone who raised hand was given a chance to speak. But only Subang Jaya and USJ residents were allowed to voice their views.
Those who said 'YES' to foodcourt:
MPSJ councillor D. Gnana Sambantham also stood up to voice his stand in favour of the foodcourt.
Those who said 'NO' to foodcourt:
Both sides put forth their rationale in a civil, mature manner though there were moments of heated arguments, cheers and jeers.
Pro and contra
One party argued that the building of the police station and the overall safety of the community should not be clouded with the building of the foodcourt as it is entirely a business endeavour.
They also argued that to resolve the USJ community's worry over their safety, the residents themselves must deal with the police to get their commitment on the timeline to have the police station built.
Until then, they urged that the foodcourt be allowed to proceed as they claimed the promoter has obtained all necessary approvals from MPSJ, besides undertaking to vacate the land when mandated by the land owner, the Royal Malaysian Police.
One resident, who claimed to have a property in USJ8, said he wanted a 100% halal foodcourt.
On the other hand, the majority of residents doubted MPSJ's claims that all necessary procedures for the application has been adhered to.
Two residents (pictures below) whose houses were 30 and 10 metres away from the project site, respectively, stood up to complain that they were never consulted by MPSJ before the planning order and approval for preliminary construction work (piling and sub-structure) were given to the developer.
One senior citizen who opposed the foodcourt project wanted the USJ8 police reserved land to be turned into a town park while waiting for the budget allocation under the 9th Malaysia Plan to materialise.
Resident Aroki, while arguing his case objecting to the foodcourt, proposed a public donation drive to help fund the construction of the police station without further delay. He pledged RM1,000 to start the ball rolling.
Two other residents followed suit by pledging RM1,000 each.
'Final Approving Authority'
The residents wanted MPSJ to bear full responsibility as the 'Final Approving Authority' and to cancel the project without having to escalate it to the Menteri Besar.
In The Star (March 25), MPSJ president Hakim bin Borhan was quoted as saying that the matter will be forwarded to the stategovernment for its final decision if the impasse persists.
However, the touching moments of the night were when two residents (picture below) from the USJ Senior Citizens Club, who were kept standing at the door throughout the night, inched their way to take the floor to read out an appeal.
They, too, wanted the balai polis instead of another foodcourt.
* * *
USJ resident/Blogger Mackzulkifli has a 16-min video which you can download here (29MB in zip file, approximately 3 minutes download time on 1MB Broadband).
Also read Dr Goh Ban Lee's comment on the issue (Oct 11, 2004): MPSJ should come clean on food court saga
Read related stories:
15.10.2004: MPSJ must come clean, starting with YDP Hakim
USJ Web Forum:
Balai USJ 8 - Dato' Nor Said "NO to Food Court!", YDP Says Otherwise!?
Dealing with local warlords ( 1 )
Dealing with local warlords ( 2 )
USJ police station: Guessing game goes on
What's your action plan, Hakim?