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Concern over gated housing projects

 20/08/2004 The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will look into the social impact of gated housing projects, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.

He said people should not jump to conclusions about such projects, adding there were pros and cons to be studied.

“We will have to look into whether the projects will create social apartheid in the community,” he said after attending The Edge’s Top Property Developers Awards 2004 at the Courtyard Garden at Damansara Heights here yesterday.

The proliferation of gated housing estates, especially in the urban areas, has caused concern among some people who see it as a form of apartheid.

Most of the gated housing estates have perimeter fencing and guarded entrances.

Ong said some gated communities were initiated by residents of particular housing areas.

“They have a right to come together,” he said.

Commenting on a separate matter, Ong said the ministry would continue to look at ways to amend the Housing Developers Act to ensure the housing industry was well regulated.

He said the areas being looked into include expanding the power and scope of the Housing Tribunal.

“We want to ensure developers have sufficient paid-up capital and submit reports of their developments every six months,” he said.

He said the housing industry had been relatively free of trouble since the act was amended in 2001.

Ong also said blacklisted companies or directors of companies had to rectify their mistakes before they were given licences to undertake new projects.

“We have a list with the licensing division (of the ministry). They should not be in the market to give more problems to buyers,” he said.


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