MALACCA: Property owners who leave their premises abandoned for an extended period that pose risk to others, will face stern action from the authorities, including demolition.
Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ismail Othman said the local government had the power to demolish these buildings under Section 83 of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133).
“The owners will be given 30 days’ notice to attend to the upkeep of their buildings.
“If no response, the Malacca Historic City Council (MBMB) will step-in and demolish the buildings with operation cost to be borne by the owners,” he said after visiting Kampung Bukit Cina.
Seven abandoned houses, some wooden structure annexed to the nine-storey flat at Jalan Bendahara were inspected by officers from MBMB and the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (PPSPPA) for valuations during the visit.
Ismail said these houses and its surrounding areas had been unoccupied and abandoned until they turned as hotspots for unhealthy activities and illegal dumping sites especially for construction wastes.
“The city council needs to monitor such buildings and their areas frequently although these properties are at secluded areas.
“We want the entire city to become beautiful and clean, not just at the main streets or façade of buildings,” he added.
MBMB Mayor Datuk Zainal Hussin said the council will try to trace the owners before any actions are taken.
“We will issue notice to the relevant owners based on the information we have from their assessment record.
“The abandoned houses have been misused for unhealthy social activities such as truancy, drug abuse, and various immoral behaviours.
He noted that these abandoned sites were also turned into to illegal rubbish dumping site and also turned into breeding sites for venomous snakes and stray dogs.
PPSPA director Zainuddin Abdul Samad said the corporation will assist the MBMB to clean up the areas once the demolish works started.
A resident who only wants to be known as Madam Low said that she has been living next door to two abandoned houses for the past six years in Kampung Bukit Cina.
“At first the owners used these houses as a store for some time until four years ago.
“No one came to clean the area since then,” said the 72-year-old, adding that bushes have outgrown the house over the years.
Raman Ramasamy, 62, from Telok Mas, who used to frequent the place to visit his friends, said that the area became quiet and neglected over the years.
“I have seen scavengers trespassing the place for scraps, followed by homeless people seeking shelters there.
“In recent years there were teenagers playing truancy hanging around, some even sniffed glues there,” he said, adding that there were also drug addicts who used the place as their “port” for their fix.