Tuesday, September 4, 2007

News: (TheStar)Four chalets already torn down despite Cabinet directive

PETALING JAYA: The Sungai Buloh Leprosy Centre is under siege with four chalets already demolished and the roof tiles of the former prison building being removed to make way for a UiTM campus building.

This is despite the Cabinet directive that discussions between all parties must continue to preserve the site while allowing some development.

The contractor hired by UiTM demolished two chalets last Saturday before Selangor Health director Dr Ang Kim Teng went to the site to order them to stop.

According to Lim Yong Long – an advocate for the preservation of the centre – the contractor had broken his promise to Dr Ang that they would wait for a Cabinet decision on Wednesday.

Heritage gone: Demolition work being done at the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Centre yesterday.
Yesterday morning, the contractor demolished two more chalets and were removing roof tiles from the former prison that used to house convicted lepers, said Lim.

This time, Heritage Commissioner Datuk Zurainah Majid was alerted.

Lim said that a heated discussion ensued, with the contractor asking Zurainah for orders in “black and white” to stop work.

“Part of the settlement has been earmarked for heritage purposes. It is this very part that the contractor is demolishing to make way for a UiTM medical hospital,” said Zurainah.

“The Cabinet has instructed that all parties continue discussions, so I do not know why they have gone ahead,” she said, adding that the contractor told her they were under orders from UiTM to continue.

Zurainah said discussions with the committee in charge of the preservation of the settlement would continue today.

It was reported two weeks ago that eviction notices were served on some nursery operators at the centre after they had stopped an attempted demolition of the former prison building on Aug 13.

In July, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had said that part of the leprosy centre would be turned into a heritage site and tourist attraction.

Source: www.thestar.com.my

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