Posted: 18 Aug 2010 09:34 PM PDT
Below is the article featured in The Star yesterday:
KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has approved a proposal to streamline guidelines for gated communities and guarded neighbourhoods that have become increasingly popular among the security conscious.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said, however, that the guidelines would only be implemented after they had been considered by the National Council for Local Government (MNKT).
He said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was scheduled to chair a meeting of the council on Aug 26 that would be attended also by the mentris besar and chief ministers.
"The Cabinet recently approved the guidelines prepared by my ministry. But we need to bring them to the MNKT. Once the MNKT approves it, I will reveal the details," he told Bernama in an interview.
Gated communities and guarded neighbourhoods have sprung up in recent years as residents, especially in the urban areas, launched their own initiatives to protect themselves and their properties by employing private security firms to guard their housing estates. However, criticism has been levelled at these firms as they often install security booths at strategic entrances and exits of the housing estates, with some even having booms that prevent easy access and exit.
Chor said there were about 480 such guarded neighbourhoods in Selangor alone, and added that not all of the residents agreed with the move to establish a gated community while some had even refused to pay the monthly subscription fee for the service.
He said that currently there were no standard guidelines for gated communities and guarded neighbourhoods, but some states had come out with their own guidelines.
In Selangor, the local authorities have allowed a guarded community to be implemented if 85% of the population in an area agrees to it.
"The local authorities allow guardhouses to be built as long as the application is made through the residents associations, with the consent of at least 85% of the residents," Chor said. The residents associations must also agree that the guardhouse did not put up a barrier and its location posed no obstruction to traffic, meaning it must only be sited on the road shoulder, he said.
This was to avoid complications with existing laws as once the infrastructure was handed over to the local council, the roads, drains, parks and playgrounds should be open to the public unless it was a private property, he added.
"We hope that the ministry's proposed guidelines can be accepted by the various states so that they can be streamlined.
"For gated communities, it is not much of an issue as they already have a legal management body set up under the strata title and most of the apartments and condominiums fall under this category," said Chor. -Bernama
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