Thursday, November 06, 2014
Lack of action by relevant authorities DETERS concerned citizens from lodging complaints or bringing to attention suspected wrong-doings?
Is it not odd that a Developer is granted permission to build houses right up to the boundary of their property? Normally, there is a requirement to leave 15 ft or 20 ft from the boundary, is there not? Normally in an housing development, is there not a requirement is that there is a road and a drain in the said property? So, if the developer is building houses right up to the boundary, with no roads and drains on his own property (on the property of the owner of the land), can one assume that something is amiss?
Adjacent to the said property is government land reserve for road, that is adjacent a kampung road beginning from the main road and going on for more than a kilometer of the road. Now the housing development has been approved right in the middle of a kampung. Oddly, the government authority has 'given' the road reserve land or approved that the developer use and build roads here, but only for the portion adjacent to the housing development and for a short distance exiting to some nearby housing estate, i.e. not building the road all the way up to the mainroad(which will mean extending the width of the kampung road? And now, it seems like since he has been allowed to used the 'road reserve', he may be building houses right to the boundary of the property - maybe no roads/drains/fences that separates the Taman from the new extended road. Was this approved? The Local Council says yes this was approved?
But, the question is why? Was there some 'wrongdoing' here? Logically, I would have expected if one of the conditions was for the Developer to use the road reserve land and expand the existing kampung road, it rightly should have been logically to do so for the entire road or maybe just from the road adjacent to this future Taman right up to the junction of the main road.
Before any big development project like this, we used to have a Notice Board inviting comments and objections from the people before the approval was granted. There would also be a public hearing allowing objectors and supporters to voice their opinions to the Local Council - but there was no such notice board before the approval was granted. Some say the law has changed and the right to object is now only given to people owning adjacent Lots - but alas, people in the kampung even the ones having ownership of lots beside it was not given this right. Was it because of the government 'road reserve' - hence Lots adjacent were no more lots adjacent because of the government road reserve - hence only the government had the right to object? Questions...questions,,,
The law governing such matters as this must all be available online on the Local Council websites - so people will know their rights when it comes to development projects. In fact, all relevant laws must be available online.
I had my suspicions, and I send a letter with all my concerns to the Local Council dated 2nd August 2014, and also by email attachment on around the same day. The receipt of the letter was acknowledged - but to date, I have yet to receive a reply by post, or a reply by email. I have been requesting for a reply - and a few weeks ago, they said that a letter is ready and will be sent to me....and till this day, almost 3 months later no letter - no letter attached to email.
Have I wasted my time raising these concerns and suspected wrongdoings to the relevant authority - The Local Council and the District Office? Such lackadaisical and slowness will only DETER people from bringing to the attention wrongdoings and suspected breaches of the law.
Then, I saw people digging into the road reserve and transporting away lorry load of soil - possibly for sale. It was government land - how could they do it? Further, there was no logic in digging and removing soil since naturally roads should be higher than the Taman - what should have been happening was the raising of the level of the said land. When the tractor was there and lorry was carting away soil, I called 911 - the police came and saw - but alas since then nothing seems to have been done. They did not even take pictures or identity details of the alleged perpetrators...
WHAT REFORM WE NEED?
Speedy response to all complaints and persons who highlight possible wrongdoings - speedy investigation - send back the complainant a letter addressing each and every concerns - the findings and what will be done if it was alleged wrongdoings.
All laws applicable should be made available on the websites of the Local Council - procedures in obtaining approvals must also be there - including rights of objections.
Notice Board inviting objections and concerns of the people is the best way - it should be placed, and this right of the people need to be restored. Approval shall only be granted after all the objections/concerns of the people are taken into consideration.
911 - when the police responds to such calls, and if it concerns any possible wrong doing or crime, then the police must immediately make a police report and commence investigation. There should be no need for the people to go again to the Balai and make a further police report. Now, in this case, it is the allegation of encroachment and soil theft from government or State land, police who came must lodge the report and investigation must proceed. People, if it was their own property or being being violated may want to go make their own police report - but alas when it is just government property - they have done their part by calling and informing the police...