24 squatter families celebrate Deepavali in new homes

13 Oct 2019 / 19:31 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Deepavali festival this year is much brighter for 24 families as they will be celebrating it in their own homes after receiving transit houses under the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (KLCH) People’s Housing Project (PHP).

The families, whom prior to this were staying in squatter houses in Pandan Jaya, today received the keys to their new homes at the Taman Muhibbah PHP from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The families were among 40 households who lost their homes in several incidents of fire involving a squatter area in Pandan Jaya.

Regarding the handing over of the keys to the transit houses as a special present with the advent of the Deepavali festival on Oct 27, S. Jayamani, 25, said she could not express her relief and gladness as they now had a house and did not have to celebrate Deepavali in a transit hall after their houses was razed.

‘’I am feeling very happy, because we can celebrate Deepavali in a new house. It has electricity, a proper house we can stay in ... despite, maybe not as luxurious as that of other people but the family is together here to celebrate Deepavali, no need celebrate at the transit hall,’’ she said after receiving the key to the house.

Several fire incidents were reported in the squatter area, namely, in May 30, last year, involving 25 houses, on Jan 6 involving two houses, May 25 involving 10 houses, and the latest, on June 17 involving eight houses.

Sharing the happiness, T. Yuganathan, 34, who was also excited to receive a house with adequate basic necessities and which he and his family regarded as perfect.

The father of two children said the house he received was a major consolation to him after being forced to stay at the Pandan Jaya hall since five months ago after his house in the squatter area was burned down in May.

‘’It was a difficult staying at the hall for five months. I was very relieved after receiving this house. Having a house is enough for my family to flock together and feast during Deepavali,’’ he said.

Earlier, Dr Wan Azizah handed over the keys and letters of offer to the qualified recipients to stay in the KLCH PHP houses for three years. — Bernama

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