Friday, November 18, 2011

Residents fear mentari Court turning into crime hub

Increasing number of criminal and vice activities at apartment complex scare local residents.

The apartment which has over 3,400 units is notorious for its social problems.
The Mentari Court apartment at Jalan  PJS 8/9 is notorious for its social problems such as rape, kidnap, prostitution, vehicle theft, fights, house break-ins and also harassment.

The apartment has 3,459 units. In the recent years some of these cases also gained much negative publicity in the media.

Streets visited the apartment with the Mentari Court Joint Management Body (JMB) secretary Jamal Ismail and found that social problems related to the foreign tenants, especially those from African nations, was the biggest challenge faced by the locals living there.

Jamal said the problem of foreigners harassing college students, in the lifts, had worsened.

“A private college nearby with many of its students living on the 17th floor of block A has engaged personal security guards to accompany the students from the ground floor up to their doorstep.

“In the past, the students were sexually harassed  in the lift by these foreigners. However, working ladies still face this problem now.”

Jamal said the foreigners, especially those from some African nation were also usually involved in frequent fights.  Most of them, he  said, whose are in the country with student visas.

He said the authorities need to enforce stricter entry requirements for foreign students who come here with student visas.

“These men don’t look like students. They look older and they are often seen loitering in the apartment and the neighbourhood. They also  get into fights.

"We have seen  their own people fall to the ground floor after being pushed from the higher floors of the apartment.

"It becomes very violent and sometimes the police arrest them. However, they are usually released a day later only to return to their old ways," he said.

Jamal  said  some apartment units have also been converted into shops.

"They sell cigarettes, liquor and other merchandise from their homeland. We just hope that they are not involved in any illegal trade."

Jamal added that the JMB could not monitor what takes place inside an apartment.

"We can't inspect what they sell or do in their apartments. We wouldn't know if they are peddling drugs in there. However, only foreigners go there.

"We also have a local driving school  in the residential unit. We can't ask them to move out. Maybe the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) can look into this matter," he said.

Jamal also showed Streets the cars and bikes, which are suspected  stolen vehicles, found by the JMB at the Mentari court car park.
Vehicles suspected to be stolen are abandoned at the car park.
There were 15 motorcycles and three cars abandoned at a corner of the apartment.

"In the past, there was lack of supervision of  vehicles  entering the apartment.  

"When the new JMB took over, we cleared the car park and found  these abandoned  vehicles," he said.

To curb the problems at Mentari Court, the residents  recently formed a patrol consisting of  residents.

A beautician, who did not want to be named, said she used to stay at the apartment until her house was broken into. She was also sexually harassed in the lift by a foreigner.

"One of the foreigners also touched me in the lift. I panicked and ran out of the lift. I finally decided to move out of there," she said.

Another former resident of Mentari Court said her husband was asleep when  robbers broke into the house.

She later found out that many others had suffered a similar fate.

"My husband was unaware of the robbery. He was asleep. When he woke up, his laptop and valuables in the hall were missing. The padlock was also broken but it was done very well," she said.

A resident said she had seen a group of five Indonesian men pouncing on a guy in the past.

"I saw five men beating up a guy near the staircase facing my unit. The victim was latter dragged somewhere.

"It was about 1am. I was in my house and did not dare  go out," she said. - NST

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