Taking City Hall to task, Saravanan asks if the people needed to demonstrate before they are granted low cost houses in the federal capital
KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing deputy minister M Saravanan today lashed out at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for dragging its feet in processing low cost house applications for low income earners.
“DBKL should realise that some cases needs urgent attention while some can wait. DBKL needs to prioritise urgent cases but this is not happening. They seems to lump all applications and take their time vetting them.
“This takes too long and dissapoints people. Do we need people to turn up at DBKL doorsteps before their application can be processed,” he told FMT.
Saravanan, who is also MIC vice president, was asked to comment on 20 disabled people who demonstrated outside the DBKL headquarters yesterday morning for the sake of a homeless man and managed to solve his woes in a matter of hours.
The protesters, representing the Independent Living and Training Centre (ILTC), demanded that City Hall provide housing to V Karuppan, a disabled 60-year-old man who has been living in his car for nearly three years because he is too poor to buy a house.
Karuppan said that he had applied to City Hall several times since 2009 for a flat on the first floor of the Intan Baiduri Public Housing Scheme (PPR).
“All DBKL gives is empty promises. Sometimes they say I will get it in a week, sometimes in a month but nearly three years have passed and I have not seen my house yet.”
His applications were supported by letters from the Welfare Department and Saravanan, whose ministry’s oversees the City Hall.
Karuppan managed to meet City Hall’s director for housing, Sukiman Surahman, for 20 minutes yesterday. He was then immediately issued a letter by Sukiman that offered him a first floor flat at Intan Baiduri.
DBKL also offered to turn the unit into a disabled friendly home by building ramps and renovating the toilet.
Must they demonstrate to get homes?
Taking City Hall to task, Saravanan questioned if the people needed to demonstrate before they are granted low cost houses in the federal capital.
“Must they stage protests before they get their houses. It seems so based on the precedent set in this case. The City Hall should have done this much sooner.
“The people come to see us with their problems. We ministers and deputy ministers are in the frontline. We issue recommendation letters and so on. But if these letters do not carry weight then the people do not have any choice but to resort to protest and demonstrations.
“The would be angry with the ruling Barisan Nasional without realising the real problem was with DBKL. If the case is urgent why not give it priority…what is so difficult in doing this?
“If the houses can be given within hours, why not give it to them when you get the go ahead from the Minister or deputy minister?” he added.