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The peculiar case of PJ’s Seksyen 16/7 guard post

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

KUALA LUMPUR – October 5, 2017: Worried about a spate of armed burglaries in their neighbourhood, the majority of residents around Jalan 16/7 in Petaling Jaya decided, five years ago,  to install security posts for their safety. 

So in 2013, its residents association (RA); comprised of those living along the cul-de-sacs of Jalan 16/7, 7A, 7B and 7C, successfully transformed their residential area into a guarded community.

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

According to a resident who spoke under the condition of anonymity, the RA had filed their application and received green-light from all relevant authorities including Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and the Selangor Land and Mines Office.

Although the process was tedious, the resident said it was rewarding as there had never been reports of crimes ever since they erected the currently-contentious 4×4 guard post; at one end of Jalan 16/7, in their neighbourhood four years ago.

However, today most them are worried that their four year-long respite from crime might come to an end after MBPJ withdrew the approval for the guard post earlier this week.

“MBPJ called us in August. We were told that the guard post needed to be relocated following a complaint lodged by a resident here,” said the resident.

“So we sent them a written reply, explaining to them how the guard post came about but they didn’t reply back. So we thought that was the end of it,” she added.

However, an unnamed spokesperson from MBPJ told Malaysian Digest that the withdrawal of the approval was due to several non-compliances committed by the RA over the construction of the guard post.

According to the spokesperson, the guard post was built on drainage reserve and that the RA’s petition for a guarded community was not signed by the majority of residents in Seksyen 16.

“The community residing in Jalan 16/7 consist of 20 houses. The construction of guard posts are only allowed if the residents obtain a petition signed by at least 75 per cent of those living in Seksyen 16,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The resident who spoke to The Mole however, disputed the MBPJ’s contention.

She argued that if such were the reasons for the guard post to be taken down, then “MBPJ should have at least met and have a dialogue with us instead of simply withdrawing their approval.”

“Instead, they told us that the guard post must be relocated because of a complaint from one person. It’s obvious that we do not want it to be relocated just because one person complained that the structure is an eyesore.

“MBPJ also argued that our micro guarded security was not serving the benefit of the entire residents in Seksyen 16…do they know how big Seksyen 16 is?

“This place is an old township and it is not made for a large-scale guarded security because there are too many cul-de-sacs here,” said the resident.

Another resident when asked about this micro guarded community slammed the MBPJ saying that there are micro guarded community posts around Seksyen 16.

“These residents who installed their own micro security never asked for our approval. And why should they? We were not affected. The security is for them.

“By the same token, why should a small number of residents here have to ask the entire Section 16 for approval of a security feature that does not affect them. How outrageously ridiculous is that?”

She also disputed MBPJ’s claim about the number of houses around Jalan 16/7 and the level of support from residents.

“There is a total of 39 houses along Jalan 16/7 and lorong 16/7A, 7B & 7C. The support for the security installation had more than 82 per cent of the residents.”

 

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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.