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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Local councils rapped for delays over OSCs

PUTRAJAYA: Housing and Local Government Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail rapped local authorities, especially local council presidents, who were unable to perform and implement the one-stop-centre (OSC) initiatives announced by the Prime Minister in March 2007.

Ahmad: All parties involved must keep their house in order. If they can't it simply means they're not good at their jobs

“Nine months have passed but some are not performing up to par and are still grappling with a lot of issues,” said Ahmad Fuad, in his winding up speech at the Seminar to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the New Initiatives to Improve the Government’s Service Delivery at Putrajaya International Convention Centre yesterday.

The two-day seminar, attended by more than 1,000 local authority representatives, state government officials, non-governmental organisations and professional bodies, was aimed at
upgrading development proposals and property management and maintenance issues, and as a follow-up to the last seminar held in April last year.

“If you can’t perform, then at least you must leave the office and allow for someone more capable to take over,” he said, referring to local council presidents.

“All parties involved must also learn to keep their house in order. If you can’t do it, then it simply means that you’re not good at your job.

To drive home his point, Ahmad Fuad cited an example: “In your house, you must not allow your maid or your driver to make important decisions instead of your wife”.

“And always remember to stay away from corrupt developers unless you are corrupt yourselves,” he reminded those present at the seminar.

“During the course of our work to implement the OSC initiatives, we will definitely come across a lot of ‘cheats’ and we must be wise to handle them.

“If any developer who approaches us with all the relevant documentation, then we must give them the necessary approvals without time wastage. If they don’t meet the requirements, then just reject them,” said Ahmad Fuad.

“If they start complaining, then let’s answer them. At least it will show that we are working,” he said.

The OSC was implemented to address delays developers faced in obtaining approvals for development projects. The aim of the OSC, which is housed at each of Peninsular Malaysia’s 103 municipalities, is to approve projects within six months.

All government technical agencies, such as the Public Works Department, Local Urban Development Department, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Fire Department and relevant professional bodies are members of the OSC.

Besides the OSCs, the ministry implemented the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) to replace the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO), the Build-Then-Sell (BTS) concept and the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007.

Meanwhile, the National House Buyers Association honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong urged the ministry to implement and enforce the BTS concept to ensure unscrupulous developers do not cheat house buyers.

“We have had a lot of problems with abandoned projects and it is about time the BTS is enforced to ensure buyers don’t get cheated in future,” said Chang.

By theSun (by Tim Leonard)

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