Putrajaya mulling urban renewal law, says FT minister

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad says Putrajaya is considering a new piece of legislation dealing specifically with urban renewal, to facilitate the redevelopment of old buildings in the capital.

Khalid told the Dewan Rakyat today that there is currently no legislation for this in the country.

“To ensure an effective and implementable urban renewal process, the government will put forward a new piece of legislation,” he said during ministerial question time today.

He was responding to Fong Kui Lun (PH-Bukit Bintang), who asked whether the ministry intends to introduce a new urban renewal law to facilitate the redevelopment of old buildings by private companies, similar to that in countries like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Khalid said the ministry had, through the Town and Country Planning Department, undertaken a study on guidelines for urban regeneration based on existing legal provisions under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.

He said urban regeneration could be defined as a comprehensive and integrated long-term programme to address issues of economic slowdown, physical dilapidation, abandonment as well as brownfield and non-economical areas.

This is streamlined with the government’s vision and development policies which can be implemented by either the government or private sector, he added.

“There are four categories under the guidelines, namely urban redevelopment, urban rehabilitation, urban preservation and urban revitalisation.

“However, in the Malaysian context, there is no legislation towards this end,” he said.

Fong said many old buildings are not redeveloped as ownership is held by different people, which hampers urban renewal.

Khalid said this was a problem in other countries as well, not just Malaysia.

He gave the example of Singapore, where buildings below 10 years old only need the agreement of 90% of the owners while for buildings over 10 years old, only 80% is needed.

“In Malaysia, we need agreement from all owners. We will address this issue in the legislation we plan to introduce,” he said.