Residents told to demolish
26/01/2008 New Straits Times By
Aaron Ngui and Marc Lourdes
The illegally-constructed guardhouse and gantry barrier in Jalan Jesselton,
GEORGE TOWN: In a move to ensure that residents do not take matters into
their own hands, a residents' association has been ordered to demolish the
guardhouses and gantry barriers it erected to stop people from using the
roads in their area.
The Penang Island Municipal Council issued the notice to the Residents'
Association of Jesselton on Tuesday.
The council wants the residents' association to remove the structures in the
exclusive Jesselton Heights area.
Council president Zainal Rahim Seman yesterday said that the structures were
illegal and had to be demolished as soon as possible.
This, he said, was provided for under the Street, Drainage and Building Act
1974, which clearly stated that no person can erect any kind of structure in
any public place or along the side of any street without the authorities'
"The council has not granted any permission for the association to erect the
structures," he said when asked to comment on the residents' claim that they
had obtained approval. He earlier chaired a full council meeting.
Zainal said he directed the enforcement unit not to demolish the guardhouses
on Monday night following claims by the residents that they had the
"I agreed to halt the demolishing works that night so as to verify their
claims but found out the following day that no approval had been given.
"The council did not receive any building or technical plans but only a
proposal showing the locations where the structures would be placed," said
Zainal who, however, declined to indicate when the structures would be torn
The structures were built at entry points to the neighbourhood at Jalan
Jesselton and Lengkok Jesselton. Both roads have been gazetted as public
access roads and both lead to the nearby Waterfall temple.
Residents there did this to prevent motorists from using the roads within
the Jesselton neighbourhood to avoid the traffic at Jalan Brook. They also
wanted to declare the area as a "safe zone" and had apparently agreed to
contribute towards a monthly service charge to maintain the guardhouses.
In Kuala Lumpur, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said
the erection of guard houses and gantry barriers to stop outsiders from
accessing public roads in the exclusive suburb was an offence under the law.
"The municipal council can tear down the barrier and the police can take
action against those who erected it, if a report is lodged by the council."
He said that if the Jesselton residents had faced problems, they should have
approached the council to find a solution.