Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cheers as residents pull down controversial barricade

The Star : Thursday May 29, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras have torn down a barricade rebuilt by Grand Saga Sdn Bhd that prevented access into the housing area of some 38,000 residents. Using mallets, car jacks and steel bars, the residents broke down the foundations of the barricade made of large boulders and forced the stones to the ground.

The boulders were then chained to lorries and dragged away to the side of the underpass of the Cheras-Kajang Highway, which leads into the neighbourhood.

By 7.15pm, the first vehicle had managed to inch its way through the two-lane access road, amidst the cheers and loud blaring of vehicle horns from onlookers and residents alike. Police and Light Strike Force personnel monitored the crowds, which swelled to a few hundred.

More roars of support ensued later when Selangor CPO Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, who visited the spot, told the residents that he had advised Grand Saga to stop any construction of barricades in the area. He said the public would be inconvenienced each time Grand Saga built the barricade. DCP Khalid also urged the Malaysian Highway Authority and the Public Works Department to settle the matter and come up with an amicable solution. He also urged the elected representative not to incite the residents.

Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Shakaruddin Che Mood, who was also present, was hoisted up by several residents who lauded his support for their cause. He also persuaded residents to remove several toppled boulders that were blocking cars going into the Bandar Tun Hussein Onn access road. Several residents then pooled together RM900 to get the job done, saying that a third of the sum would be for the lorry’s petrol while the rest would be used to buy food.

Earlier, two photographers from Sin Chew Daily and China Press were attacked by two unidentified men, who had threatened to beat them if they did not stop taking pictures.

By 10pm, all boulders had been cleared.

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