An RMAF school building under construction in Tanjung Bunga, Penang, has been the site of another tussle between federal and local authorities.
This time, according to a source, federal officials allegedly refused to heed Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) requirements for the project, located along Jalan Geh Chong Keat, until last month.
The construction of the Sekolah Iktisas Tentera Udara (Situ) was carried out without the approvals of the MPPP, said the source.
After receiving complaints from neighbouring residents over piling work, the MPPP issued warning letters and then a notice to demolish the structure.
After months of inaction, the Defence Ministry finally agreed to stop construction and abide by MPPP requirements. The building is now already completed and awaiting its OC.
“Clearly this shows how the (local authority) is being disregarded,'” said a source familiar with the problem. He said there are three other cases of similar tussles over jurisdiction: at the Botanic Garden, in Balik Pulau and in Permatang Pauh.
An MPPP councillor explained that under the Town and Country Planning Act, the local authority needs to be consulted about federal projects. And under the Local Government Act, the council is given authority to approve or reject plans.
”I am sure there are other cases of federal projects going ahead without MPPP permission or approval,” the councillor said, citing the case of an ongoing school project in the Dato Keramat area. “But in the case of schools, we have no heart to adopt a hard line (that would unduly delay the projects).”