Time for laws on urban regeneration of old stratified buildings, Penang tells Putrajaya

The Penang state government has identified the flats in Jalan Mahsuri, Taman Free School, Rifle Range, Mak Mandin and Jalan Siakap for the urban regeneration programme. — Picture by KE Ooi
The Penang state government has identified the flats in Jalan Mahsuri, Taman Free School, Rifle Range, Mak Mandin and Jalan Siakap for the urban regeneration programme. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, April 25 — Putrajaya has to decide on amending existing laws or enacting new ones on urban regeneration to allow the redevelopment of old stratified flats that are in dire need of rejuvenation, said a Penang executive councillor today.

Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo revealed that Penang had earmarked over 5,469 flat units in five stratified projects to be redeveloped but these proposed projects could not be implemented due to the absence of laws for such endeavours.

He said the state formed an urban regeneration committee back in 2015 to look into demolishing and rebuilding old stratified flats in the state.

“Even though we started this committee in 2015 and have identified at least five projects to be redeveloped, we faced a few challenges in this, especially with regards to the laws governing stratified buildings,” he said in a press conference in Komtar today.

The housing Development, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman said the law was not clear on whether the government needed to obtain unanimous agreement from residents in these projects before implementing the redevelopment projects.

He said there were a few laws on redevelopment with one stating that unanimous consent is needed, while another said that the state could undertake compulsory acquisition to implement the redevelopment project.

He said there are specific laws for urban regeneration in other countries such as Singapore where there is even a ministry for urban renewal.

“We have to move forward in urban regeneration projects in Penang so we are looking forward to receiving positive news from the federal government on whether it plans to amend existing laws or to enact new laws on urban regeneration,” he said.

He said the Housing Ministry has held forums nationwide on urban regeneration.

“We were told that this issue was brought to the National Land Council for consideration so we hope the federal government will look into this issue as soon as possible,” he said.

The Penang state government has identified the flats in Jalan Mahsuri, Taman Free School, Rifle Range, Mak Mandin and Jalan Siakap for the urban regeneration programme.

He said the state held a successful engagement programme at Jalan Mahsuri but could not go ahead with the urban regeneration due to the absence of a law to govern it.

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