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PJ’s Jalan 16/7 contentious guard post can stay…for now

One of the contentious guard posts in Petaling Jaya's Seksyen 16/7.

One of the contentious guard posts in Petaling Jaya's Seksyen 16/7.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

PETALING JAYA – October 7, 2017: There seems to be reprieve in the fate of the Jalan 16/7 security post.

Residents in the neighbourhood have been told that they need not remove it pending a decision by the Petaling Jaya City Councill (MBPJ) whether or not to re-approve it under its latest guidelines.

Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said that the residents have ground to do so despite MBPJ’s claim that the construction of the post had violated its latest guidelines concerning guarded communities.

The residents’ tangle with MBPJ began earlier this month after the latter issued a directive for the removal of the guard post which is located at the top end of Jalan 16/7 within 14 days.

According to MBPJ the construction of the post, for which it approved four years ago, was unlawful because it created a micro guarded community that does not serve the benefit of the entire residents of Seksyen 16.

Rajiv said it is illogical for them to seek approval from everyone in Seksyen 16 just to install a guard post here given how isolated this area is from the rest of Seksyen 16.

“I will be pursuing this matter with MBPJ, should they fail to cooperate in the next few days, I will escalate this matter to the Mayor,” he said at a meeting with several residents of Jalan 16/7 last night.

The resident association (RA) of Jalan 16/7 had, earlier this week, appealed to Petaling Jaya Mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain over the matter, citing reasons that MBPJ latest guidelines should not have a retrospective effect.

“The MBPJ had, in April 2013, approved our application to turn Jalan 16/7 into a guarded community, so if there’s any issue of non-compliance they should talk to the RA first before issuing any directive”, said the RA’s policing committee member, Datuk Lokman Awang.

Seksyen 16 is one of the oldest parts of Petaling Jaya with many residents comprising former high-ranking civil servants who have been living there for the more than 40 years.

And according to 67 year-old retired contractor, Pu Jiang Hai, MBPJ’s directive had caused unrest among everyone living along the cul-de-sacs of Jalan 16/7A, 7B and 7C.

Pu told The Mole that the neighbourhood had been very peaceful because there had never been report of crimes ever since the currently-contentious 4×4 guard post was built.

“There was a spate of armed burglaries before we put up the guard post. I was one of the victims and it happened to me two years in a row.

“It’s unfair for them (MBPJ) to put our security at risk. If possible, we don’t want to become a guarded community but we don’t have any choice,” said Pu who is also a former engineer of the Public Works Department.

He was not alone in expressing his deep sadness over the council’s sudden turn-around in the matter.

Many fear that without the security that they had installed, they will be vulnerable to a recurrence of crimes – particularly home invasion and armed robbery.

Interestingly, some residents find the entanglement “rather peculiar” because they were, in August, made to understand that the guard post needed to be taken down because of a complaint about the “eyesore” of a post from a resident who had just bought over a house close to the post.

“It was only after the issue was highlighted by the media that the MBPJ came out with these technical non-compliances,” said a resident who preferred to remain anonymous.

Another resident said that the MBPJ’s decision made no sense at all.

“I suggest the MBPJ look around section 16 form them to insist on a macro security. It is not practical. In fact, unnecessary. It is ridiculous.

“Either the MBPJ is negligent in making their decision, inept or simply has no heart.

“For the residents, it is not about fighting to keep individual interest, a business or a project. It is about defending something they had installed by their own resourcefulness for the safety and security of the residents, many  of whom are retirees and pensioners. 

“But, perhaps for the MBPJ it is siding with an individual’s interest. It sure looks that way.”

Responding to such a concern, Rajiv urged those who believed that there is an element of corruption involved in the issue to lodge a report to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.