Tremors roll on from council’s gazebo demolition

The Kulim Municipal Council (MPKK) today defended its demolition of a gazebo at the side of a house in Taman Lagenda, Padang Serai, on Thursday, with MPKK President Harun Jasin saying the measure against the illegal extension was lawfully conducted.

He said MPKK had issued several notices to the house owner, including ordering him to dismantle the structure himself.

“The house owner had erected concrete pillars for the gazebo, making it a permanent structure. Besides, neighbours have complained that the gazebo disturbed their privacy,” he told reporters at his office here.

Harun was commenting on media reports that MPKK enforcement officers had been aggressive and had not adhered to regulations in the demolition of the gazebo, built in February last year.

The house owner, Azhar Hamat, 46, a senior assistant economic affairs officer at the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida), had alleged that he had been subjected to injustice because the structure was demolished when he and the family were away in Kuala Lumpur.

Azhar said he had enquired from some people in MPKK whether he had to submit a plan for the construction of the gazebo and was told that it was not necessary.

“Unfortunately, after the gazebo was built, MPKK imposed a RM250 compound fine on me for not submitting a plan. I paid the fine on Aug 22 last year and thought the matter had been settled,” he said.

Asked about complaints by certain quarters that the MPKK had not acted against other house or building owners who had made extensions that did not meet specifications, Harun asked them to lodge reports and submit proof.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that a group of residents in Padang Serai have set up a fund to help Azhar engage a lawyer to bring his case to court.