Stampin MP urges MPP to cut red tape, expedite action on Lrg Tawi Sli shophouses’ structural issues

Chong Chieng Jen (file photo)

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, May 3: Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen has urged Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) to cut the red tape and alleviate the unnecessary workload on verifying the assessment report that has significantly delayed resolving concerns regarding the structural integrity of shophouses at Lorong Datuk Tawi Sli in Mile 3 1/2, Jalan Penrissen which endangers the occupants of four unsafe units.

While Chong acknowledged MPP Chairman Tan Kai’s response, particularly the issuance of a notice under the law instructing shophouse owners to engage professional consultants for structural integrity assessments, he highlighted that the months-long delay reflects the council’s inefficiency and lack of urgency.


A Building Integrity Report by an engineer, submitted to MPP on Feb 16, 2024, outlined that four out of the 11 shophouses are critically unsafe for occupation, necessitating demolition and reconstruction from the foundation upwards. Additionally, three shophouses require beam and column reinforcement, along with the reconstruction of certain floor slabs.

Tan mentioned that the report had been submitted to the chief inspector of the building from the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak for further input and is waiting for JKR’s response.

“Two and half months (still ongoing) is too long a time for any authority to verify a report that can be prepared in a month.

“The private engineer prepared the Building Integrity Report in about one month, but MPP’s chief inspector of the building took more than two and half months and still has not been able to verify the report. That is highly inefficient, or an indication that MPP attaches no urgency on the matter,” he said in a statement today.

However, considering MPP is going to refer the matter to JKR, Chong questioned why MPP couldn’t get JKR to prepare the report in the first place, which would have saved time and costs.

He pointed out that it took the owners of nine of the 11 shophouses almost a year to find an engineer who was willing to undertake the task, only for the report to require verification by JKR.

“This is double work. Had MPP acted immediately by assigning JKR, which has power under Section 39 of the Buildings Ordinance, to enter the premises to carry out the building integrity assessment in the first place, the report would have been completed a year ago, and JKR would have charged minimal costs.

“Now, after making the owners go one full cycle and wasting one year, at the end of the day, MPP still has to refer the report to JKR for verification. Such unnecessary double work has caused much delay to a resolution of the matter,” he said.

Addressing Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang’s remarks that owners should address the issues as they involved private buildings, Chong clarified that the owners have no intention to ask and did not ask MPP to pay for the reconstruction or repair of their shophouses.

“So far, all that the owners of the shophouses were asking from MPP was to issue the necessary notice to compel the other owners who have refused to act to do what is needed to ensure the safety of the buildings.

“Therefore, it is not correct to allege that the shopowners want MPP to pay for the repair and reconstruction of their shophouses. They just want MPP to do its job under the law,” he added.

Chong urges Tan to promptly issue the necessary orders, reminding him that every day of delay poses additional risk to occupants of the four unsafe shophouses. — DayakDaily