Monday, November 20, 2006

Championing residents' rights

By: R. Nadeswaran and Terence Fernandez (Nov 02, 2006)

The All Petaling Jaya Pro Action Committee (APPAC) is an organisation of 46 residents' associations in the city and non-governmental organisations which have proven to be a thorn in the side of the powers-that-be, specifically the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ). Its pro tem committee chairman Edward Lee, who also heads the Section 5 Residents' Association (RA), tells R. NADESWARAN and TERENCE FERNANDEZ that those at the top are beginning to take notice of the people's views. He also has this message for taxpayers: You have no alternative but to stand up for yourself if you want to live in a just and equitable society.

theSun: The assessment issue has really helped you marshall support for APPAC.

Edward Lee: That's because it hits everybody's pockets. At that point in time, we did not know much about the billboard goings-on. I wasn't even bothered by it. So, we had to rally the residents for this (assessment) cause.

We thought you got together because of the Local Draft Plan that proposed the commercialisation of leased residential property.

Well, if you want to go far back, that was when we started to form some sort of group. The Local Draft Plan (RTPJ 1) did not involve this group of 46. When the draft plan was created at that time it was basically just Section 5 and residents around this area, we were championing the different issues related to the RTPJ 1. So that's how we started, more localised.

But the assessment hike issue, I believe, is actually a venting of the anger of the people towards what they perceive as the non-performance of the council and also the abuses of the council... that's how we get such a momentum.

Then, of course, when the billboard issues came to the forefront, everybody was hopping mad! Then everyone started to call.

There are so many related issues, I mean like this morning ... and I'm not kidding, I got a call from people in Prima Damansara saying that they are being victimised by their developer. So, they are asking me to help them out, give them some advice; not that I am an expert, but it shows that the people are becoming more aware of their rights.

One of the frustrating things about heading an association is when things are good no one bothers to join, but in times of trouble, that's when they turn to you.

That's the most frustrating part of public service. But I suppose at the same time, when we are in public service, we have to expect this. I mean, we were like that before until circumstances taught us to want to do something about it.

The government has helped uslah (laughs) in that respect, by being lackadaisical at times.

For more of the write-up, please refer to the below link, thanks.

--- Article Information ---
This article was emailed from Welcome to Sun2Surf.
Article's URL:

No comments: