Kini Flat PPR Desa Wawasan dah berubah setanding kondominium.
Dulu kontrak perkhidmatan seperti pembersihan, pembaikan dan kawalan keselamatan diberi kepada kontraktor swasta yang gagal buat kerja dengan baik.
Kini kontrak-kontrak itu diberikan kepada penduduk flat sendiri. Kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang bayar penduduk flat untuk jaga kebersihan, jaga fasiliti dan jaga keselamatan kawasan flat mereka.
Ibu-ibu tunggal yang tinggal di flat PPR Desa Wawasan diambil sebagai pekerja pembersihan malah pengawal keselamatan. Mereka bukan sahaja dapat gaji, malah bekerja dekat dengan rumah dan boleh terus menjaga anak-anak mereka. Bila rakyat diberi kuasa, PPR yang dulunya dipandang serong sebagai tempat yang tidak terurus kini menjadi halaman mahligai kasih.
Saya nak ucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada Sdr Sanusi, pengerusi Persatuan Penduduk yang berusaha bersama kerajaan negeri menjayakan projek di Flat PPR Desa Wawasan ini.
Baca berita penuh The Star pagi ini:
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Six years ago, residing at the Desa Wawasan flats was like living in the slums for thousands of residents there.
Today, it is said to be one of the cleanest and safest low-cost flats in the country, thanks to a big decision that led to mothers dwelling at the premises being given security and cleanliness contracts by the flats’ management.
Among them is Rafiah Sani, 60, who was hired to keep the corridors, walkways and common areas clean and free of garbage from 7.30am to 4pm daily.
“As a resident, I take pride in keeping our surroundings clean and hope that other residents will do likewise.
“The best part is, I can reach home within seconds to prepare dinner for my three children,” said Rafiah, who has been renting a unit there for RM100 monthly for the past 21 years.
Desa Wawasan flats is one of the more efficiently maintained People’s Housing Project (PPR) run by the state government.
The 918 units of low-cost flats in two blocks are rented out to the poor, with the option to buy from the state.
The principle of the leasing scheme is that after the tenants improve their quality of life and can afford to buy homes elsewhere, the units are returned to the state to be leased to others on the waiting list.
The state regularly repaints these two blocks to maintain a homely environment and even provides 24/7 security for the residents.
Rafiah’s Mothers Day wish is to purchase the unit worth RM42,000 one day.
“My children would then have a place to stay when I’m gone. My Mothers Day wish is for all of us to live happily together every day,” said Rafiah, who lost her husband to kidney failure and another son to a heart attack last year.
At the guard post, Suria Md Noor, 51, is a picture of selflessness as she ensures the safety of her fellow residents.
“There is a sense of pride when you know your neighbours feel safe and confident in their stay here.
“Sometimes, arguments happen, especially when house rules are broken. But we eventually get along well.
“We must ensure our living environment is safe and I treat everyone here like family.
“I know their lifestyles and the ins and outs,” said the divorcee.
She has four children aged nine to 17.
Suria said both her legs are constantly swollen after she had an accident in 2018.
“It has been difficult for me to travel since then and I am glad I am able to get a job here as a security guard, working eight hours daily and making an honest income.
“After work, I can return home to cook for my children,” she added.Zainab Jamal, 58, is also a single mother who stays in the flats with her youngest son.
Her husband passed away in an accident in Kuala Lumpur 26 years ago.
Her three other children, whom she has not seen since 2019, are married and living in Langkawi, Taiping and Johor Baru.
“As a mother, I miss them dearly. Thanks to technology, we stayed in touch throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, but nothing beats seeing them in person.
“As I cannot afford to travel over to see them, hopefully, they will return soon. I miss them,” said Zainab, who works as a cleaner.
Desa Wawasan Apartments Community Association chairman Sanusi Ahmad said there are some 30 single mothers living there.
He said getting residents to work in their living space was meant to instil a sense of responsibility towards their property.
“We have five female cleaners supported by six men who help with the maintenance of the buildings,” he added.
Sanusi said the two blocks of flats were once infamous for being filthy and were plagued with drug issues.
“But the situation has improved ever since the residents took on various roles to look after the property.
“There used to be garbage all over due to rampant littering and many drug addicts made this place their joint.
“But after we roped in residents to look after the place, everyone was united and developed a sense of responsibility towards their homes,” said Sanusi, who celebrated Mothers Day with the mothers at a cake-cutting event at the flats.
He said the association hopes to set up commercial outlets to be operated by the residents themselves so that they may be able to generate more income.