SUITABILITY of location and renovation requirements are some of the challenges faced by confinement care operators in trying to follow licensing requirements by the Selangor government.
State local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han said the approved locations for confinement centres were commercial areas or residential areas where limited commercial activities were allowed.
“It is against the law for them to be located in industrial zones.
“Any confinement centres in industrial zones should relocate to a more suitable place.
“Suggestions for types of location, space requirements and maximum number of rooms within premises are included in the guideline,” he said.
He had earlier launched a seminar on “Guideline for the Establishment of Confinement Centres in Selangor” organised by Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) in collaboration with Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (Upen).
Ng said Selangor was the first state in Malaysia to draw up a clear and comprehensive guideline for the establishment and licensing of confinement centres to be used by all local authorities in the state.
To date, he said there were 38 confinement centres in Selangor that were licensed or in the process of getting licensed.
These are in Petaling Jaya, Klang and Kajang (five each); Shah Alam (four); Sepang and Hulu Selangor (one each).
Of the 17 under MBSJ’s purview, five are licensed, seven in the process of applying for a licence while five closed down due to movement restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ng said there were more confinement centres that had yet to be registered with the local councils.
The seminar was held following the guideline’s announcement last year.
Selangor public health, unity, women empowerment and family committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said that similar to childcare centres and senior citizen care centres, confinement centres served as essential social services.
“They provide a support system for new mothers living away from their extended families,” she said.
MBSJ Town Planning Department director Ismail Muhamad said those who had applied for confinement centre licences did not find the process too difficult.
“For operators located in residential properties, they have to ensure that each room houses only one mother.
“Those located in commercial units have to adhere to requirements and materials to build partitions,” added Ismail.