Gated/Guarded-In The News

tigermania's picture

Dear All,

This was in the news today. After stating that it would not come up with new laws on Guarded Communities, the Housing Ministry has done a welcomed about-turn. It is hoped that this will formalize the status of Gated/Guarded Communities once and for all. There are a few salient points in the news article that we in PH must look at.

I understand, Mr KL Chang of the House Buyers Association has been invited by the PHRA to try enlighten us further during the PHRA AGM on the 28th of this month. Mr Chang is also a MPSJ councilor and I personally think this is a good opportunity for PH residents (both members and non-members of PHRA).

My personal comment in red. Thank you.

Please read:

‘Guarded communities’ to get ministry guidelines

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The housing and local government ministry is taking a guarded stance on the ‘guarded community’ housing estate concept.

As guarded community housing estates have been mushrooming, of late, the ministry intends to come out with guidelines on the concept.

Minister, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said currently, guarded community housing estates did not have proper guidelines, resulting in state governments and local councils coming up with their very own by-laws which differed from one locality to another. PH falls under Selangor state guidelines for better or worse.

He said, most of the “guarded community thing” was spearheaded by a group of house-owners on their own accord. PH was marketed by FDSB as a guarded community (FDSB expressedly caveated that it was subject to approval from the relevant authorities). This is where our Supplementary Agreement to the S&P is relevant.

“Of course, we have to come up with some guidelines due to some legal issues which have cropped up,” he told Bernama here today. Much of the confusion is a result of conflicting by-laws under different government bodies (under different ministries). It has been difficult for any single one of these government organizations to take ownership of the problem although the Selangor government did attempt to. I suppose the buck finally stopped at the Housing Ministry.

The ‘guarded community’ concept is not something new altogether, in the country.

It is where a group of residents of a housing estate take it upon themselves to employ security guards and fence their housing area in the name of crime prevention. Yes, our main concern is security and safety.

However, some residents associations have taken the law into their own hands by fencing-off certain areas and closing roads, according to their whims and fancies, and in some cases, without even consulting other residents in the housing estate. This is not the case with PH as we have the Supplementary Agreement and the 96% consensus in the recent referendum. We also have a perimeter wall that was constructed by FDSB as part of the development project.

While such action is deemed as a measure to stub out any illegal activities in the housing estate, it has run into some legal entanglement as the move went against the Road, Drainage and Building Act 1974.

The Act states that there should be no obstruction to any public road. The same ruling applies under Section 62 and 136 of the National Land Code 1965 and Section 80 of the Road Transportation Act 1987.

The law also states that it is unlawful to privately attempt to restrict or regulate public spaces without the approval of the relevant authority, and attempt to close, barricade or restrict the access of a public road, drain or space.

The act of fencing a housing estate according to one’s whims and fancies would also contravene sections 46 (1) of Street Drainage and Building Act 1974, section 80 of the Road Transport Act 1987 and section(s) 62 and 136 of the National Land Code 1965.

In addition to this, provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 may also be violated where guard houses are built on public land or road shoulders.

Section 46 (1) of the Street Drainage and Building Act also prohibits a person to build, erect, maintain or issue permit to maintain any wall or fencing in an public place. It is also an offence for a person to cover over or obstruct any open drain or aqueduct along sides of the streets without consent of the local council.

The above highlighted paragraphs put in a nutshell the legal conundrum house-owners, the public and the government faces.

However, Kong said, based on some safety issues highlighted by residents, state governments such as Selangor, through the state housing and property board, had drawn up a set of guidelines dubbed the Fenced and Guarded Community Scheme.

“There is no problem with private security patrolling public roads in a housing scheme under the employment of the residents associations or RAs but the local authority and the police should be consulted first,” said the minister. This is an indication that the government is taking an understanding stance on Guarded Communities and any new guidelines will not cause undue upheavals for existing and perhaps even new guarded communities; this is of course my personal opinion.

Kong said, some guidelines issued by local governments for guarded communities included the setting up of a guardhouse and employment of private security based on the consent of residents in the area.

For example, some local authorities allow guardhouses to be built as long as the application is made through the RAs, with the consent of at least 85 per cent of the residents. Dear all, this is why the PHRA is trying to have ALL PH house-owners be members of the Association. I understand from Mr Ramesh and Mr Yeak that non-members are welcome to register as PHRA members during the AGM of the 28th of March.

Apart from that, the RAs must also agree that the guardhouse does not have a barrier and the location does not obstruct traffic, meaning it must only be located at the road shoulder. This is debatable as far as the Selangor guidelines are concerned and a pertinent consideration is the single entry/exit-road criteria.

However, Kong said some local authorities allowed for some form of limited barriers, so long as it was backed by an overwhelming support of the local residents and it did not deny access nor obstruct traffic.

“For gated communities, it is not much of an issue as they already have a legal management body being set up under the strata title as most of the apartments and condominiums fall under this community. This has been a direct result of amendments made to the Strata Titles Act 1985 in 2007 to synchronize with the provisions of the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act, 2007.  

yeak's picture

Friday March 12, 2010
100% consent needed for gated schemes
Stories by BAVANI M

RESIDENTS Associations (RA) seeking to turn their neighbourhoods or housing estates into guarded communities must ensure that the security hired to guard the area is registered with the Home Ministry.

This is to ensure that only legally trained guards were hired to take care of the neighbourhoods, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said.
Controversial: According to the proposed guidelines, boom gates and obstructions will be strictly regulated.

Also, RAs must get the consent of every household in the neighbourhood.

“100% consent is a must,” he stressed.

These are just some of the requirements which will be part of the guidelines on guarded communities that are being compiled by the ministry.

Also, the guidelines will not allow boom gates to be installed but guardhouses are allowed as long as they meet the proper specifications.

“We are currently preparing the guidelines and will soon be sending them to the Cabinet for approval. If the Cabinet approves, we will present it at the National Local Government Meeting (MNKT),” Kong said, adding that the guidelines were subject to changes.

Once approved, ideally the ministry’s guidelines should be adopted by local authorities in Peninsular Malaysia.

RAs must then get the necessary approval from their respective local authorities.

Kong said gated and guarded communitinies had been evolving and, as more and more people are opting for the way of life to curb crime, not everyone understood the differences between gated and guarded communities.

The minister said gated communities are regulated by an Act of Parliament — the Strata Title Act — while guarded neighbourhoods are not.

It has been reported that the Selangor government will also be releasing its own guidelines on guarded communities and that 85% consent was required to approve the conversion of a housing estate into a guarded scheme.


yeak's picture

I just talking to a friend who's RA Chairman is someone with title "Tan Sri", ex MAS boss and his situation is like us. They wanted Gated but faced many objections especially from older generations. All young generations, like us, think differently. They are aware of the Home Ministry recent news as above. They have AGM mid March. He is okay we invite their RA to join us in our AGM with HBA speech.