KUALA LUMPUR: Residents who install boom gates to protect their neighbourhood must ensure that they are manned at all times, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said.
The gated community and guarded neighbourhood guidelines, approved by the Cabinet last September, also state that the boom gates, or barriers, must not be locked at any time.
“Guarded neighbourhoods are allowed to have a boom gate at the entrance into the neighbourhood, only if it is manned round the clock.
“Unlike gated communities, the roads in these neighbourhoods are considered public roads. Therefore, the gates should not be locked and anyone can use the roads without having to surrender their identification cards,” Chor said yesterday after paying respects to the late wife and daughter of Calven Loke Wai Hoong at Taman Mastiara here yesterday.
Annie Ong Yen Lee, 33, and toddler Artina, who would have turned two this week, died in a fire at their Taman Seri Sinar home on Saturday morning.
Loke, the Federal Territory Gerakan Youth secretary, was away in Malacca at that time to help the Barisan Nasional in the Merlimau by-election.
Firemen rushed to the scene after receiving a distress call at 6.11am but precious minutes were lost when the rescuers were halted by a locked barrier at the unmanned security checkpoint of the residential area.
They had to cut off the chains before proceeding to the burning house, which was reportedly 80% burnt by then.
The mother and child were believed to have suffocated. The fire was suspected to have started from the kitchen of the single-storey home.
Joining Chor at the wake yesterday were Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim and some 20 fire and rescue officials.
Loke, 36, said the barrier was usually opened by 6am.
“As a fire and rescue volunteer myself, I know that a few seconds could mean life and death,” he added.
Loke said he had no words to express his grief. “I do not understand how this could have happened to me,” he sobbed.
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