Home Coalitions Penang Forum Widen the scope of penalty for blocking and damaging public spaces

Widen the scope of penalty for blocking and damaging public spaces

An obstructed pedestrian walkway in George Town - Photograph: nomadicnotes.com

Follow us on our Malay and English WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube channels.

Penang Forum welcomes and commends the Pakatan Harapan government for passing a bill to significantly raise the fine for firms that damage any street, five-foot ways, verandah or property belonging to local authorities or block pavements.

The minimum fine for taking up pavement without prior permission of the local authority is raised from RM500 to RM50,000. The minimum fine for damaging any street, five-foot way or verandah way belonging to the local authority the minimum fine is raised from RM1,000 to RM100,000.

Unfortunately, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the proposed fines were only applicable to developers and public utility companies. It is unclear why this is the case.

A major problem in many cities, particularly in Penang, is the blocking of five-foot ways by shopkeepers or owners.

One of the major manifestations of good town planning and laws was the requirement to provide covered five-foot ways in front of shophouses. These are covered public spaces that allow the public to walk safely and in comfort while moving around cities doing their daily errands. It is also highly beneficial to shopkeepers as such pedestrian traffic boosts their business.

Regrettably, many of these five-foot ways have been blocked – either temporarily by shopkeepers who display their goods or even cook on these public spaces or permanently by some who construct fences or walls across the five-foot ways. As a result, pedestrians are forced to walk on streets, exposing themselves to danger from vehicular traffic.
READ MORE: Make public the Penang state action plan on paired road projects

READ MORE:  Making streets walkable and safe is something long overdue

Penang Forum urges the minister to include these new provisions to apply to individuals, shopkeepers or owners who block such five-foot ways. The quantum of penalty could be smaller but it should be of an amount sufficient to deter such offences.

Such laws are highly welcome but ultimately, there must be political and administrative will to enforce them. We urge local authorities to strictly enforce these laws without fear or favour.

Penang Forum steering committee
29 October 2018

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
Support our work by making a donation. Tap to download the QR code below and scan this QR code from Gallery by using TnG e-wallet or most banking apps:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jeremie Lee
11 Nov 2018 1.55pm

i have never ever seen any enforcement at all in my entire life!!!

Karunagaran Yanasegaran
11 Nov 2018 12.53pm

Enforcement mana?

Ganesan Suppiah
10 Nov 2018 7.36pm

Yes agreed.

3
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x