FT minister: DBKL will take back community halls to restructure, rectify flaws left by BN

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad declined to elaborate what steps DBKL would take against the 46 who refuse to hand over the halls, except to say he hoped it will not have to involve stern measures. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad declined to elaborate what steps DBKL would take against the 46 who refuse to hand over the halls, except to say he hoped it will not have to involve stern measures. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, May 30 — The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is in the process of taking back community halls scattered around the area, for the benefit of the surrounding local communities.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said there are currently 331 such halls in and around KL.

“Of this the management of 157 community halls have been handed back to us, but those in charge of 46 more halls have thus far refused to hand it back,” he said during a press conference at the ministry’s complex.

Once DBKL regains management of a community hall, it will also refurbish the structure if necessary to ensure its safety and ease of use for the surrounding community.

“After which we will determine which organisation is the most qualified to take over the management of the hall.

“Prior to DBKL taking back management of the halls, some were under political parties but also under residents’ associations, NGOs, government agencies, joint management bodies, and private entities,” Khalid said.

Of the 331 halls, 71 were already managed by DBKL prior to this, while 50 are situated in private areas and 203 in parliamentary constituencies, including public housing and People Housing Programmes.

Khalid declined to elaborate what steps DBKL would take against the 46 who refuse to hand over the halls, except to say he hoped it will not have to involve stern measures.

“We have issued out letters to that effect in December last year, and then February and April as well.

“After Hari Raya Aidilfitri, we will issue another final letter. If that is ignored then we might consider taking out a court order against those who refuse,” Khalid said.

He explained that the main aim of DBKL taking back the community halls’ management is to rectify the flaws left behind by the old BN government.

“It used to be when those with connections in certain places could get the hall for free or use it only for their own benefits.

“At least this way we can ensure the halls are protected from abuse, and that eventually they can be used for the right purposes by its rightful communities,” Khalid said.

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