The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has ordered Klassik Tropika, a subsidiary of the Mah Sing Group, to rebuild an illegally demolished colonial-era bungalow to its original condition.
This is a step in the right direction. The even bigger question is, what’s going to happen to the RM280 million high-rise plan for the Pykett Avenue site? Will MPPP reject the plan as a lesson to all? Or will the plan eventually be approved when the uproar has died down? The developer had bought the site from a private company in December 2009 for RM38.7 million (RM262 per sq ft), according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
See this report from theSun:
Restore building to original condition, developer told
GEORGE TOWN (Feb 23, 2011): A developer that has been ordered to rebuild a colonial-era bungalow here after illegally demolishing it last year is required to restore it to its original condition, the Penang government has clarified.
State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow today confirmed that the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has issued the order to Klassik Tropika Sdn Bhd to rebuild the the double-storey structure at 20 Pykett Avenue.
Responding to a report in theSun on the order, Chow explained that the MPPP is empowered to act accordingly under section 27 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.
He also stressed that the developer could reply to the MPPP to seek clarification and to discuss the matter.
The building was originally owned by Khaw Bian Cheng Sdn Bhd, which is connected to the 19th century magnate Khaw Sim Bee who became governor of Phuket in the 1890s.
Klassik Tropika is a subsidiary of Mah Sing Group Bhd. The company had on Oct 6 submitted a proposal to the MPPP for an apartment complex.
However, it demolished the old bungalow at the site on July 26 last year, prior to getting approval from the council.
The MPPP subsequently took the matter to the court and the company was fined RM6,000 by the George Town magistrate’s court on Jan 17 for demolishing without permit.
“We are in the process of applying to the courts to have the fine increased,” Chow said at a press conference.
He also stressed that the development project plan has still not been approved by the MPPP.
When it was pointed out that the bungalow is not officially listed as a heritage structure by the MPPP, Chow said the action taken by the council was based on the illegal demolition of a building per say.
The company has stressed that it has already complied with court action taken against it, and that it had also obtained confirmation from the MPPP that the building was not identified as a heritage structure before buying the land in 2009.