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144 local authorities (LAs) in the country, including City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL) should appoint Commissioners of Building

Media Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw


(Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday) : I propose that 144 local authorities (LAs) in the country, including City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL) appoint Commissioners of Building, to ensure that all buildings especially highrise ones conform with the regulations such as the issuance of strata titles. At the same time, the commissioners should also solve the problems of older buildings without strata titles.

On 15 April, 2007, I met residents of Taman Aman Putra, Jinjang North, Kuala Lumpur. They have many complaints.

Malaysians of all races need time to adjust to living in highrise flats. They include civil servants. We often hear of housing projects that have not been able to deliver houses in time, issuing no strata titles and so forth.

Several highrise buildings in Kepong such as in Taman Aman Putra are facing various problems. For example, the management company collects payment for assessment and water at a rate objected by the residents. The daily early morning call for prayer, azan subuh, attracts attention.

As with all Muslim suraus, the prayer room at Taman Aman Putra, has five calls for prayers a day, 365 days a year. In our multi religious society, all people must accept religious practices and traditions of various religions, including the calls for prayers. Those who do night shifts and young children would appreciate if the volume of the early morning calls can be
turned down.

The burning of incense and the beating of drums and religious ceremonies by Chinese and Indians make some Muslims uneasy. Hence, mutual understanding and tolerance by all races are essential.

I brought up the response by non-Muslims of early morning call for prayer on 11 April, 2007, in a rational manner. The Government proposes a Special Committee to deal with sensitive inter-religious issues. Any form of extremism including religious one is not suitable for Malaysia.

We have contacted the Management Company of Taman Aman Putra, urging it to handle residents' complaints in a just manner. We have also informed Ministry of Housing and Local Government of the difficulties faced by flat dwellers. We shall follow up the matter.

We face the difficulties about housing that require laws and enforcement which are effective. At the end of last year, Parliament passed amendment to the Housing Development Act, 1966, Strata Titles Act, 1985, The Registration of Engineers Act, 1967 and the Registration of Architects Act, 1967. We hope that this is enough to overcome the mountain of housing troubles.

For example, 144 LAs including CHKL must appoint Commissioners of Building to monitor housing development such as the issuance of strata titles.


*Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Kepong

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