Boom gates must be manned

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Boom gates must be manned

Postby admin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:41 am

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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Secretary was present to unlock barrier

Postby admin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:42 am

THE Rukun Tetangga of Taman Sri Sinar in Kepong, where a mother and daughter were burned to death, said the fire engine only took less than a minute to break the lock and enter the housing area.

Rukun Tetangga chairman Yap Keen said during the Saturday morning incident, the RT secretary was at the gate with the key to open the barrier.

“But the firemen had cut open the lock in less than a minute and entered the road,” said Yap.

He said the barrier in Jalan Lang Kepala Putih was opened during the day and only locked at night while the other entrance in Jalan Lang Perut Putih barely 50m away had no barriers and was manned by a security guard at night.

He was disappointed with reports in several dailies that the fire engine could not enter the area because of the locked barrier.

Yap said the security services catered to 400 homes and about 230 households have signed up for the scheme.

He said there were five entry points to the housing area and three were closed at night and two left open but guarded.

“We started the scheme because of the high crime rate in our area. Some women walking here have been slashed by snatch thieves.

“A couple who were traders on their way to work one morning were attacked by armed robbers.

“We will be holding another meeting to find out if the residents still want the security scheme and barriers in place. If not, we will remove it,” he said.

Kepong Community Service Centre head Yee Poh Ping said most residents put up gated and guarded schemes because the police did not have the manpower to patrol all areas.

“They need it for their safety but they must also make sure that there are alternative entry and exit points.

“I’ve seen the site of the incident and in this case, the barrier was only secured by a small lock and they did have an alternative entrance,” he said.

Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw, however, feels that barriers that make it difficult in an emergency is not acceptable.

“It was an unfortunate incident that should never have happened. They can put up security schemes but they must also be reasonable and not close up roads,” he said.

Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng were of the opinion that gated and guarded communities were put up because of the high crime rate and residents feared for the safety of their families.

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