PUTRAJAYA: Highways must now be built at least 13m away from residential units.
This is to prevent a recurrence of earlier incidents such as in Bandar Baru Seri Petaling, where a highway was built a mere 2.3m from the houses.
Public complaints bureau director-general Dr Chua Hong Teck said nothing could be done now for the residents in Seri Petaling as the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya dedicated highway project was almost completed.
Future projects, however, would have to follow the new ruling, he told reporters here yesterday.
He said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had approved the new Highway Authority Malaysia (Set Backs of Highway) Regulations 2007, which provided for the new guideline.
“The new regulation was recommended by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan in his capacity as the permanent public complaints committee chairman,” said Dr Chua.
He added that these were among issues resolved by the bureau.
Citing another example, he said that after complaints were received over delayed police investigation, the commercial crime division set up a taskforce with a one-year time frame to complete probes on high-profile cases.
Later, several complainants joined Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok in a press conference to say they were grateful to the bureau for helping them resolve their problems.
Asked why the authorities only responded when complaints reached the bureau, Dompok said “problems falling on deaf ears” was a worldwide problem.
He added that this was the reason why the bureau was set up.
He said the Government was also setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission and the Special Complaints Authority to investigate public complaints.
He said the laws for the setting up of the two bodies were being finalised by the Attorney-General, which included proposals to give the bureau more powers to inves-tigate and to allow it to summon civil servants.
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