SIA necessary before project approval to avoid community conflict, says Zuraida

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin at a press conference in Putrajaya August 28, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin at a press conference in Putrajaya August 28, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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PUTRAJAYA, Aug 28 — Property developers must conduct a social impact assessment (SIA) study before applying to the authorities to undertake any development project, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said today.

This will ensure that developers are able to obtain feedback from the communities surrounding a project and to make the process of obtaining the required clearance from all relevant authorities easier for all parties.

“We do not wish to see opposition raised by the communities around a project after it has already been approved,” she told reporters following the National Physical Planning Council meeting.

Zuraida added the SIA would be an important source of reference should any issues occur following the project’s approval.

“In the event residents still oppose a project despite the SIA and the developer interacting with them, then it will be left up to the discretion of the relevant authority in charge such as the local government,” she said.

Similarly the meeting also concluded that developers will now be required to construct temporary housing within the project vicinity for the foreign workers involved in said development.

“The developer must pay for the entire temporary housing if it wants to continue on the project. We do not wish to see things such as shacks scattered around.

“There are guidelines in place which they can refer to. These have been in place for some time but due to weak enforcement nothing has been done up until now,” Zuraida said.

The primary aim of building temporary housing for the duration of the project is to ensure the foreign workers are forced to seek accommodations elsewhere such as in public housing projects, and thus leading to potential conflict with its residents.

“Although the workers must reside within the vicinity of the project, they are free to come and go whenever they are not working,” she said.

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