Rules are not meant to be broken

IS it sometimes right to do the wrong thing? Why do people find themselves breaking or bending the rules?

Rules that cover life and death situations, financial operations and security have to be strict, no doubt.

This is when flexibility to those rules is forbidden or unwelcome.

More importantly, rules should not be broken just because they are inconvenient to us. And more often than not, when a rule is bent or broken, it is at the expense of others, inconveniencing them.

There are certain rules which are black and white, and these I am referring to are state government and local government laws, which, if broken, you pay the consequences.

Here are two incidents relating to the argument of breaking and bending the rules, which occurred in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.

Most recently, an incident in the country’s capital city shows that although violation is done in the name of a noble cause, the rule is the rule and no one has the right to break it, especially when the rule exists to protect the people.

An endeared urban community farm called Kebun-Kebun Bangsar was granted a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) to run an urban nursery.

However, a fortnight ago, it was given an eviction notice by the Federal Territory Lands and Mines Department (PTGWP) when the enforcement agencies found the farm in violation of the TOL terms because it was rearing livestock like chickens, ducks and sheep, in addition to building permanent structures under electrical power lines.

The operator had previously been ordered to make the necessary improvements such as removing the livestock, but failed to do so.

The authorities acted upon complaints from residents in the surrounding area. The affected community complained of stench, flies as well as noise from the urban farm.

The operator said the animals provided emotional support to children and that it was a place to educate people about animals and nature.

Supporters of the farm, including two MPs, asked the authorities to withdraw the eviction notice as the farm had “brought joy to the community” and cultivated greenery.

Should the authorities close one eye on the matter despite clear violation?

I think not, when it is clear that the community staying nearby is living in discomfort instead of joy.

And if the authority doesn’t take action here, even though there are noble intentions with the farm, it will encourage others to break the same rules.

In the second case, the news and social media were abuzz over the last two months about a certain houseowner in an upmarket residential area of Petaling Jaya.

He had planted trees and shrubs on a road shoulder without the city council’s permission. This and a couple of his other projects that encroached onto public area, raised the ire of the surrounding residents.

It came to the point where the residents committee filed a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over the inaction of the local authority.

MBPJ had earlier issued several notices under the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 to the houseowner to remove the illegal structures, and the deadline had been extended to July 13, failing which he would be hauled to court.

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