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Traffic jams, road conditions in commercial areas under scrutiny

Azlan Othman

Traffic jams and deteriorating road conditions at commercial areas such as Kiulap were highlighted at the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.

Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid said there are provisions for planning commercial areas, including guidelines and standards, as well as a scheme to beautify Kiulap which is experiencing rapid development.

The minister said the initial construction of roads was implemented through public-private partnership (PPP) leading to Kiulap becoming a bustling area, adding that the next phase will cover road construction, riverbank widening and modification of 21 land lots.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda said this in response to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim’s questions about the development in commercial areas and related issues.

The minister said traffic jams and lack of parking space are common problems in commercial areas.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda said building owners and occupants are required to ensure access roads used by the public are clean and the buildings free from hazards, according to Section 57 of the Building Control Order 2014.

The minister said management corporation, also known as strata corporation, may be a solution to issues raised. It is a body set up during planning and development stages of a business area to supervise maintenance work. To have a policy requiring business premises to set up management corporation is under consideration by the Ministry of Development (MoD) and needs to be discussed with Ministry of Home Affairs and other agencies.

As for the suggestion that the MoD should repair roads in commercial areas and charge landowners, it is challenging due to commercial buildings being sold in units causing blurred lines in ownership.