The Federal Court has ruled that construction of boom gates across public roads and guardhouses in residential areas are legal.
A five-member panel chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said regulated access to a defined area was not an obstruction in law, particularly if it was for security purposes. “It is so only if one is denied access to a public place. It is not a barricade that is placed across a public road that denies access altogether to all who wish to enter,” said Zulkefli in his 18-page judgment delivered on March 19. He said guardhouses and boom gates were authorised structures under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976; the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974; and the Local Government Act 1976. “It cannot be disputed that guarded communities are schemes implemented to improve public safety and security in defined residential areas,” he said.
The panel had dismissed an appeal brought by a resident, Au Kean Hoe, of the D’Villa Equestrian housing estate in Kota Damansara, Selangor, who had commenced legal action against its residents’ association. Au said the guardhouse and two boom gates built in the housing estate ought to be demolished because they were illegal structures, a nuisance and amounted to an obstruction. Zulkefli said the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ), as the relevant local authority in the present case, was fully empowered to approve the guardhouse with the boom gates in accordance with the MBPJ guidelines for guarded communities issued by the Urban Planning Department in May 2011. He said the developer of the housing estate had obtained approval from MBPJ for the construction of the guardhouse. – Bernama, March 25, 2015.