The long-awaited gated and guarded (G&G) community guideline was finally released last month, but residents who had high hopes that it will endorse their self-initiated efforts of combating crimes might have a bitter pill to swallow.
Drafted by the Ministry of Local Government, the guidelines define schemes implemented at highland residencies as gated communities (GC), land properties’s scheme are named as guarded neighborhoods (GN).
The good news for the guarded neighbourhoods is that residents are now only required only to table simple majority of 51 per cent in order to implement a scheme.
The standard height for a guard house under the new guideline is 1.8 meter X 2.4 meter.
Besides, the ministry had also given a go-ahead for the erection of a manual boom gate and a security signboard provided security personnel man the structures at all times.
However, perimeter fencing and backlane closure are marked as prohibited, much to the chagrin of residents.
Residents must also obtain temporary occupation of land (TOL) from the district land officer in order to place a guard house on public roads, a procedure that some fear will take up months to get sanctioned.
It is also noted that the guidelines are only applicable to the new scheme and not the existing ones.
All Petaling Jaya Residents Association Coalition (APAC) chairman Johan Tung Abdullah pointed out that a disallowance of backlane closure will “put an end of the effect of gated and guarded scheme”.
Backlane closure banned
The leader of 20 residents’ association coalition said there is no way GN can achieve its intention of reducing crimes if backlanes are not closed.
“I understand they are playing safe with the law, but shouldn’t they also address the original objective of why RA opted for a gated and guarded scheme?” he asked.
When asked whether the introduction of simple majority to table a scheme will lead to more disputes among the pro-GN and anti –GN fractions in a community, Johan disagreed.
“If people choose to quarrel, they will still do it even if we get 85 percent (of a community) consent,” he said, referring to the previous Selangor policy of setting the percentage of consent as pre-condition to approve a scheme.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman Edward Lee meanwhile called on the RA to get more support should they wish to setup a guarded scheme.
He said the possibility to sustain a scheme would be very slim if only 51 percent of a neighbourhood opts for it.
“End of the day residents are the consumers of the scheme, they have to foot the bill,” he said.
Ling, on the other hand, thinks prohibition of backlanes closure is a “justified decision” as various parties such as fire department and ambulances could be granted access in emergency scenarios.
He however stressed that the issue is up for discussion between residents and the local council.
“When I was the RA chairman, we gave the keys to the fire department, police and the hospital when we implemented gated and guarded scheme,” he said.
Meanwhile, the high land gated communities are required to build a fencing perimeter with a 50 percent permeability and a permanent guardhouse with round-the-clock security guards.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhiyiddin Yasin was reported as saying the guidelines will be implemented with immediate effect.