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Friday, 17 November 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

House-turned-hostel irks neighbours

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Residents in East Ledang are seeing red over a house which has been turned into a foreign workers’ hostel and an industrial kitchen in their neighbourhood here.

Art gallery director Datuk N. Parameswaran, 69, who has been living there for the past eight years, said the group of about 20 men, believed to be Chinese nationals, were a nuisance to the neighbours.

“Apart from it being a workers’ quarters, they have also set up an industrial kitchen at the open space behind the house and a chef comes in daily to cook for the workers.

“In addition to gas tanks, there are also huge industrial gas tanks in the compound for outdoor cooking, which is done about twice a day.

“The gas tanks left exposed outside are causing anxiety among the residents. What if the tanks explode?” he questioned.

Parameswaran added that the residents were disappointed over the lack of action despite numerous complaints forwarded to the management since February this year.

Another resident, who wanted to be known only as Lee, 50, blamed the inconsiderate house owner, whom the neighbours have never met for the situation.

“We have tried looking for the owner but he never comes around and only deals through an agent.

Piles of rubbish, including empty cooking oil containers, dumped outside the house are an ugly sight.
Piles of rubbish, including empty cooking oil containers, dumped outside the house are an ugly sight.

“All we know is that the owner is from Singapore and they can’t be bothered as they don’t live here, which is very selfish of them,” he added.

He also said Johor Baru Central Municipal Council (MPJBT) Health Department officers were spotted fogging the house at least three times this year after dengue cases were reported there.

Businessman P. Jeyaratnam, 62, said the neighbourhood was marketed as an upmarket residential area with premium price and home buyers were promised a high-quality lifestyle.

However, it was currently a far cry from it.

“It is a great place to call home with friendly neighbours but we are uncomfortable with the presence of these men who we do not even know.

“To make matters worse, they walk around the house compound clad only in their undergarments, which is very distasteful and spoils the image of the entire neighbourhood,” he said.

Jeyaratnam believed that food cooked in the house was also being distributed to two other houses at the second phase of East Ledang nearby.

“When we bought the house, we were required to sign a deed and one of the clauses was that the property must only be used for residential purposes, so this case is a clear violation of the agreement.

“The question is why the management has not acted on the numerous complaints.

“I really hope they will look into soon,” he said.

When contacted, MPJBT president Adib Azhari Daud said the council would look into the matter.