Tuesday July 17, 2012
Gated residents turn aggressive
A PEACEFUL press conference by Taman Kaya residents on their gated community project took a shocking turn when some residents spotted a dissenter to the project there.
A scuffle broke out between the residents and former Residents’ Association (RA) pro-tem secretary Simon Thong during the conference held last Saturday when he was spotted taking photographs.
They had alleged that Thong had posted on the Internet negative statements against the proposed gated community project and wanted him to speak to the press to clear the air.
The residents tried to stop him from leaving the area when he was discovered.
The residents had earlier called for the press conference to refute claims by an online news portal that they had acted like a mob and verbally abused the portal’s editors last month.
In the June 26 incident, the editors had arrived at Taman Kaya with former RA pro-tem chairman Augustine Anthony to do a story on gated communities.
It was reported that residents, after noticing the editors taking photographs and videos, had stopped them from leaving the residential area, claiming that the editors were there to run down the gated community project.
The press conference to explain the previous incident was about to end when residents noticed Thong.
When the residents asked him to speak to the reporters, a scuffle broke out as Thong wanted to get back to his house, causing a few residents to pin him against a car.
Thong then entered his son’s car and tried to leave the residential area but was blocked by residents who stood in front of the car and lowered the boom barrier.
During the standoff, another woman began hitting and kicking the car while telling Thong to open the barrier himself before she was led away by other residents.
He was only able to leave the residential area after about 10 minutes.
One of the residents who tried to stop Thong, salesman Sam Hu reasoned that all the residents wanted was for Thong to talk to reporters instead of posting negative things about the gated community project on the Internet.
“Since he refused to meet the press, I had no choice but to stop him from entering his home.
“We want to settle this dispute within the community as we don’t want the barriers to be taken down,” he said.
Taman Kaya residents are still appealing against the Ipoh City Council’s decision to tear down the perimeter fencing at the residential area.
Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim had reportedly said the perimeter fencing must be taken down as it was built on road reserves.
He had also said that the guard house had to be move onto the road shoulder and asked that the resident committee apply for a temporary occupation licence for it.