Legality of preschools in residential areas questioned


  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019

This kindergarten in Jalan Hujan Emas, Taman OUG, is located on the main road where access is blocked by a boom gate. Based on DBKL guidelines, this is not allowed. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH and LOW LAY PHON/The Star

BEVERLY Tan woke up rather startled one morning to the sound of crying children and an unusual number of vehicles near her house in Taman Bukit Indah, Jalan Kelang Lama in Kuala Lumpur.

Jalan Selera, a busy road in the neighbourhood, was filled with cars as parents dropped off their children at a newly opened kindergarten.

For months, the house turned kindergarten had been undergoing massive renovation and was finally completed several weeks ago.

“I was upset when I saw that the renovation was for a taska (day care centre). My consent was not obtained for this.

“What’s more annoying is that there are several kindergartens in the neighbourhood. Some merely a few doors away from the other. We don’t need another one,” she said.

Kindergartens and day care centres should be properly planned to prevent inconvenience.

Tan, 49, also questioned the legality of the structure and wondered if Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was enforcing its by-laws.

Anjali Devi, 38, a resident of Jalan Hujan Emas 3 in Taman OUG, said there were two kindergartens just a few hundred metres from her house.

“I find there are just too many kindergartens. Many of these facilities are not in corner units and I wonder how is this allowed?’’ she questioned.

Similar problems have been reported at Taman United, along Jalan Sepakat 8.

Many affected residents are questioning whether the kindergartens and day care centres have DBKL permits to operate.

 This day care centre in Taman OUG is located on a busy road.
 This day care centre in Taman OUG is located on a busy road.

It is believed that such establishments are mushrooming in residential areas throughout Kuala Lumpur because of poor enforcement by the local authority.

Residents are fed up with DBKL’s lackadaisical attitude pertaining to this matter.

Bukit Bandaraya resident Serena Lopes said houses should not be turned into kindergartens or any other commercial enterprise.

“There should be a cap on the type of businesses allowed in certain areas.

“Just go around anywhere in the city and you will see that there are countless intermediate lots turned into kindergartens and day care centres; that’s just not right,’’ Lopes said.

Rules in place

Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association advisor Datuk M. Ali said there were dozens of kindergartens in the neighbourhood, of which their legality comes into question.

Taking Bangsar as example, he said it was easy to assume that there were many similar establishments all over Kuala Lumpur that were not observing the law.

He added that the affected residents had the right to be angry and could object to the setting up of kindergartens and day care centres as per the  Federal Territory Planning Act 1982.

Mohd Zainuddin says there is a need for more kindergartens.
Mohd Zainuddin says there is a need for more kindergartens.

The operator of a kindergarten or day care centre must get permission from immediate neighbours before starting operations, he said, adding that Rule 7 of the Planning Development Rules 1970 was a farce as the kindergarten operators had failed to observe the rules.

Ali said When DBKL received an application for a residential unit to be turned into a kindergarten or daycare centre, the local authority must inform adjacent residents on the proposed operation.

Only with the immediate neighbours’  consent can DBKL approve the permit, provided all other guidelines are adhered to.

However, he added, residents living in and around the neighbourhood did not have much say in the matter although they were indirectly affected by the presence of these facilities.

This corner unit in Jalan Selera, Taman Bukit Indah has been turned into a kindergarten. Residents say they were not consulted.
This corner unit in Jalan Selera, Taman Bukit Indah has been turned into a kindergarten. Residents say they were not consulted.

Kampung Malaysia Raya Residents Association chairman Mohd Zainuddin Amran said there was a need for such facilities now more than before, but DBKL must gazette the land to allow its operations.

Mohd Zainuddin, who runs a day care centre, said he had received many requests from working parents to open the facility in the neighbourhood.

“People have to make room for this type of facilities and not simply oppose it.

“It must be done right, only then will you get the support of the community, which is what I did,’’ he pointed out.

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