Titiwangsa lawmaker Johari Abdul Ghani wants developers who plan to embark on development projects at a public housing area in Keramat, Kuala Lumpur, to provide affordable options.
Responding to claims that the area will be developed with plush projects, Johari however stressed that residents must be able to afford whatever project planned for the area.
"We don't want they (the developers) to build expensive condominiums which you cannot afford," he told residents at the Seri Perlis 2 public housing project in Kuala Lumpur today.
Johari, who is also Finance Minister II, said he has informed both the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) which owns the public housing project and the prime minister that the area was meant for low income earners in Kuala Lumpur.
"Developers who want to develop the area must fulfil the needs of the residents here," said Johari.
He also assured residents that they would not be evicted from the area.
"If you get evicted, tell them to meet the MP. They can't go ahead if I don't agree with it and they must also get the agreement of all residents," he said.
Should the residents be moved to another area, Johari is of the opinion that there should be development projects ready for them to move to.
"They cannot be moved randomly in Kuala Lumpur. They (developers) have to develop a place and the residents must be moved in stages."
Speaking to reporters later, Johari said he was informed by residents there that they would be moved "all over the place" by developers.
"They have stayed here for 40 years so they are concerned about moving," said Johari.
The residents are also worried that they would not be able to afford the new development project, he added.
"And they are renting. If it is theirs, when there is a new project, they will be given a new flat, but they are renting.
"Also, if an expensive flat is built, of course they won't be able to afford it. That's why we want to find the mechanism to solve this problem."
Although he expressed agreement with the need for development in the area, Johari said such projects must benefit the rakyat instead of developers.
He however noted that the current public housing project was over 40 years old and plagued with various problems, including a problematic sanitary system.
"It's tough when fecal matter comes out when residents flush their toilets so the only way is for there to be development, but what kind of development?
"My hope is for DBKL and developers to discuss with the residents so that they do not get pushed aside in the redevelopment plans of this area," added Johari.- Mkini