Developers must make space for houses of worship

JOHOR BARU: The state government had made it compulsory for housing developers to allocate areas to public facilities including sites for places of worship as part of their development.

Johor Housing and Local Government executive councillor Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi said developers should allocate such sites according to the planning and development guidelines stipulated by the local councils.

“The sites would be determined during the initial stages of planning, as the developers will have to produce the number and size of the places of worship based on the population in the area.

“The developers would have to take into account the population profile and composition including age, race, religion and other criteria, both current and projected,” he said during his rounding up speech at the state assembly sitting recently.

He was replying to Dr Boo Cheng Hau’s (DAP-Skudai) suggestion to set up a Worship House Zone enactment and Non-Islam Management committee.

Abdul Latif added that the sites allocated by the developers would then be submitted to the state government and implementing agencies for approval.

He also said that the Central Johor Baru Municipal Council (MPJBT) has issued a notice to a church to vacate a shoplot in Skudai following complaints that they were issuing brochures and leaflets in Malay

Abdul Latif said the materials were also distributed in Muslim areas.

“Our investigations showed that the church has contravened the usage of the commercial building and turned it into a place of worship and also carried out renovations inside without approval from MPJBT,” he said.

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