New building guidelines needed for new villages?

The Selangor MCA public complaints bureau is urging MBPJ and other local councils to stop demolishing illegal buildings in new villages or traditional villages until a specific guideline is stipulated.

Its bureau deputy chief Kevin Chong was referring a four-storey building in Kampung Cempaka which is scheduled for demolition.

“The owner did submit his building plan when he was building the extension in 2008, but it was not approved,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

“Now the RM400,000 extension has been completed, and MBPJ suddenly threatens to demolish it,” he said, adding that the council also imposed a RM350,000 demolition penalty on the owner.

He urged the Damansara Utama assemblyman Cheah Wing Yin, PJ Utara parliamentarian Tony Pua, and other local councillors to assist the owner.

Lim(left) and Chong

Lim: review it on a case by case basis

Former Damansara Utama assemblyman, Lim Choon Kin, who is familiar with Kampung Cempaka, said houses in new villages should be handled differently given there was no masterplan when they were built.

He said the current Petaling Jaya Minor Building Works Handbook is not applicable to new villages as it is impossible for those houses to reserve 10 feet of space at the front yard and five feet at the backyard.

“If local councils were to enforce the rigid guideline, I am sure all new villages will be demolished,” he said, adding that PJ Old Town and Kampung Sungai Way are some other old neighbourhoods under the radar.

Last week, the owner of the four-storey building doused himself in kerosene when faced with MBPJ officers who had arrived to demolish the building.

MBPJ called off the demolition following the drama that unfolded.

Cynthia: factory nuisance irks residents

Local councillor Cynthia Gabriel said MBPJ was acting on public complaints to demolish the four-storey buildings.

“The owner is operating a large-scale furniture factory in the middle of a village, which has irked the surrounding residents.”

She said the council has been negotiating with the owner ever since the building was still under construction but the owner chose to ignore MBPJ’s orders and requirements.

Following the last week’s drama, Cynthia said the council is giving the owner a final chance to bring down the size of the factory and shift its manufacturing operations away from the village.

The grace period lasts for two weeks from March 16.

Meanwhile, Richard Yap, the special assistant to Damansara Utama assemblyman, refuted the notions that MBPJ embarked on a sudden demolition of the building.

He said MBPJ had issued two stop-work orders on the owner in April and September 2008 when the building was still under construction.

“Dr Cheah (Wing Yin) had even left his contact details at the premises before MBPJ’s first stop work order,” he said.

“However, the owner only came to meet Dr Cheah when MBPJ was about to a demolish his building in 2009,” he added.

Yap claimed there is already a specific guideline for new village buildings, unlike what was claimed by Chong.