KUALA LUMPUR, March 26, 2015:

Residents Associations have lauded yesterday’s Federal Court ruling that deemed the construction of boom gates across public roads and guardhouses in residential areas as legal.

A five-member panel, chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, said regulated access to a defined area was not an obstruction in law, particularly if it was for security purposes.

Taman Seputeh Residents Association president Dr Balaeswaran Poobalasingam said boom gates had been effective in deterring crime, with residents being able to breathe a sigh of relief for feeling secure.

“Residents Associations have always been worried about the legal repercussions of putting up boom gates for security purposes in many places.

“We were handicapped initially as it was previously deemed illegal,” he told The Rakyat Post.

Balaeswaran said it would be good if the government or the Cabinet could draw up with a policy making the cost of construction and hiring of security guards to be borne by local municipal councils.

“Of course, the physical construction of a boom gates is not the answer to curbing crime. What about the personnel manning it?”

He said Residents Associations normally paid for the services of the guards.

Petaling Jaya Section 5 Residents Association president Rafiq Fazaldin said it had fight the authorities previously to build boom gates.

He said the authorities would bring down the gates should even one resident lodge a complaint.

“In my area, we have a boom gate, but it is no more in use because of this.”

With the court’s ruling today, he said he would raise the matter up during the association’s next annual general assembly to obtain a fresh consensus.

When questioned if the boom gate would prove to be a hazard or an inconvenience should an emergency take place, Rafiq said there were three alternative routes the public could take to gain access to his area.

“We will close three non-major roads, leaving three other major ones open.”

He urged the respective municipal councils to consider setting aside a “certain amount” for a one-time purchase of the gates.

Police would also be relieved to know that the boom gates were now legal, said Brickfields Residential Association chairman S.K.K. Naidu.

“Indirectly, this will assist the police keep the peace and the residents will have peace of mind.”

Naidu hoped all residents would chip in when it came to procuring security guards.

“We cannot be selfish when it comes to ensuring security as the police have their work cut out for them.”

He hoped that housing areas and associations would give their full support for the boom gates and guards.

A five-member Federal Court panel, chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, said guardhouses and boom gates were authorised structures under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976; the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 and the Local Government Act 1976.

The panel had dismissed an appeal brought by a resident, Au Kean Hoe, of the D’Villa Equestrian housing estate in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, who had commenced legal action against the D’Villa Equestrian Residents’ Association for having the boom gates.

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