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(L-R) Mr. Pasdik Francis, En. Mohd. Saifurazzee B. Mohamed @ Hussien, Ar. Paul Lau, Mr. Mursidi Hj. Sapie,
Mr Johnny Samson, Datuk Matius Sator, ar. Sim Sie Hong, Ar. Ho Jia Lit, Ar. Lo Su Yin, Ar. Yong Ming Cheong, Ar. Aaron Fong, Ar. Arnold Kwan

On 12th May, 2011, seven chapter members of the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM Sabah Chapter) led by the Chapter Chairman, Ar. Ho Jia Lit paid a courtesy call to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing,  Datuk Matius Sator.

The Chapter highlighted the issue on the referral of development plans to the Central Board for approval.  In order to speed up the process, the Chapter recommended that minor amendments made to the layout of the development plans need not be referred to the Central Board again.   In an effort to be more transparent and to dismiss misunderstanding on the efficiency of the Central Board approval process, the Ministry agreed to publish the statistic on the number of development plans submitted and approved by the Board and the time for their approval.

In view of the rising costs of properties in the State and the outdated and uncoordinated ad-hoc bylaws and guidelines, the Chapter stressed the importance on the revision of a uniform and relevant residential set back guideline.  The Ministry had also agreed to look into the formulation the Sabah Building Ordinance and when such exercise carried out the Ministry would invite the professional bodies to be represented in the committee.

The Chapter has also emphasised that DBKK has already been using a new residential set back guidelines albeit on a trial basis.  In Sandakan, the setback guideline is also different.  Confusion will arise when the development plans were sent to the Central Board for approval.  Very often, they will be rejected as the new setback guideline is inconsistent with the existing by-laws.

In an effort to preserve our environment and the concern for global warming, the Chapter also proposed to the Ministry to incorporate sustainable design criteria into the building by-laws.  Encouragements and incentive will be given to buildings which have achieved the GBI (Green Building Index) certification.  Some of the simple and basic energy saving design and construction details should be part of the regulation to be complied in new building construction.

PAM Sabah Chapter highlighted that in a recent court case, the property inspection reports prepared by one architect professional were used and accepted as evidence for the assessment of the conditions of the houses in dispute.  The Chapter stresses the importance of the inspection reports for cases referred to the Housing Tribunal.  As part of the service to the building industries, the charges for the reports are very reasonable.

Reported by Ar. Lo Su Yin

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