DPM: Govt to amend law on slope projects, more power given to local authorities

Kenneth Tee
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (centre) chairs the 72nd National Council for Local Government meeting at Putrajaya September 6, 2018. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 6 ― The Road, Drainage and Building Act 1974 will be amended to prevent further tragedies involving development on slopes, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail confirmed today.

Dr Wan Azizah said the amendments to be tabled in the next Parliament sitting this year, will ensure the safety of those living in the vicinity of slopes.

Among others, she said the local government (PBTs) officers will be empowered to enter any type of premises including existing ones for safety inspections.

“The purpose for the amendment is because we currently lack currently any guidelines concerning construction developments on sloppy areas and presently PBTs are not allowed to enter development sites to inspect.

“With the amendment, all development projects involving a steepness of 25 degrees and vertical height of 10 meters must present a mandatory geotechnical report prepared by a certified inspector from the Board of Engineers Malaysia to ensure the structure is safe,” she said.

She told reporters after chairing the 72nd National Council for Local Government meeting that developers would not be allowed to proceed with their projects if they fail to abide by the new ruling.

“Such steps are made following several landslide tragedies in the past.

“This is a work in progress as the previous government had taken the first step but took a long time to execute it,” she said.

In a separate development, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, who was also at the press conference, said PBTs have been given more autonomy to issue compounds on those refusing  to dispose of their waste properly after the ministry agreed to a guideline for those conducting businesses in night and wet markets.

“The local authorities have the power now to suspend business licenses of those caught for not disposing their rubbish at designated spots.

“This is to ensure that rubbish will not be strewn all over the place and obstruct local residence,” she added, the suspension will last a month.

She said the ministry was also in the process of drafting a guideline for night and day markets to standardise the management of markets nationwide.

Zuraida said compounds amounting to RM100,000 will also be issued by PBTs to irresponsible utilities contractors who did not re-patch roads following the completion of their works.

She also said PBTs will provide the One-Stop Centre 3.0 Manual to developers to enable them to be more efficient and less time consuming by classifying development projects into three categories of small, medium and large.

“Currently there are 69 items on a checklist that developers have to fulfill in order to obtain approval from the local authorities.

“Our objective is to hasten and optimise the application process by reducing the amount of checklists required based on the size of the project,” she added that developers would only need to fulfill 22, 28 or 32 items on the checklist in ascending order according to project size.

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