No obligation to renew lapsed planning permissions


Local councils are under no compulsion to automatically approve applications to extend the period of approval for planning permissions that have already lapsed, a former MPPP secretary has pointed out.

By the way, have you registered for Penang Forum 5, scheduled for this Saturday afternoon? The deadline for registrations is noon tomorrow. Just email aliran (at) streamyx (dot) com with your name, organisation (if applicable), and contact details. More details can be found on the Penang Forum website.

These and other issues are expected to be raised at the Forum.

This report from The Star.

MPPP has wide powers, says Lakhbir
[email protected]

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) has wide powers to approve, reject, revoke or modify planning permission and building plan applications, said former senior local government employee Datuk Lakhbir Singh Chahl.

He said the Town and Country Planning Act and Street, Drainage and Building Act empowered the council to define uses of land and buildings while also compelling compliance by developers.

“The laws clearly state that the council shall take into consideration matters that in its opinion are ‘expedient or necessary for proper planning’.

“If the proposed development is located in an area where no local plan exists, the owners of the neighbouring lands have a right to object to the application and to state their grounds of objection.

“The local planning authority can even request that the applicant submit a development proposal report with details such as the concept, justification and analysis of social implications,” he said.

Lakhbir started his career as Penang’s Rural District Council secretary in 1968. His last post was as MPPP secretary. He was also director of the first Penang Island Structure Plan Committee.

On June 15, MPPP president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail said there had been no new approval for hillslope development projects on the island since Pakatan Rakyat came into power in 2008.

She said 19 “special projects” were approved after 2008 but the planning permission for these projects were granted in 1996 under the Penang Structure Plan 2007.

She said the developer could renew it annually up to five times.

Lakhbir, who is a lawyer, said an approved planning permission was valid for a year and the council was under “no obligation” to renew the application for an extension of the planning permission if within that time, the development had not commenced in the manner specified.

“The local planning authority is under no compulsion to automatically approve any application for extension or renewal of a plan approved,” he said.

Penang municipal councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui said there should never be any automatic renewal of planning permission that had lapsed.

“The council must review the entire project every time a renewal of the planning permission is applied for,” he said.

Former MPPP councillor Lim Kah Cheng said she would address public grievances in relation to hillslope and high-density development at a dialogue with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Saturday.

The dialogue will be held at the Caring Society Complex from 2pm to 5pm….

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ong eu soon

Former MPPP councillor Lim Kah Cheng said she would address public grievances in relation to hillslope and high-density development at the dialogue. Who is this Lim Kah Cheng ? She seem to forget she is now Ms EX-councillor. On what position she going to assume in addressing our grievances in relation to hillslope and high-density development? All those who like to bodek, you might end up a victim … when I start shooting at those in the power. You don’t want me to drag you to court.

Sze Tho

I think you are more likely to end up in psychiatric ward. The court wouldn’t give a loon like you time to waste.

Gerakan K

It is pity that special gag order cannot be applied to former MPPP secretary !!! Ah Eng, lagi mau tipu siapa ???!!!

What special projects ??? CAT gomen kah ??? Poorah !!!

Ahmad Sobri

Aduh… HUDUD for ALL! HUDUD for ALL!

Where and what is GELAKAN’s stand? Where is the, ” I will be more assertive”Penang UMNO/sycophant chairman?

Just who is bluffing? You be the judge folks.


What special project. Are you ignorant. Go the MPPP office and see the minutes. It has been declassified and for your full viewing otherwise just keep your … mouth shut up and don’t act stupid just because you want to bodek your master.

ong eu soon

Who is ignorant? Yang shame on you! Now your Lim Guan Eng dares not refute that the special projects were approved by his administration. The MPPP president now keep mum on the special projects. Once I bring Guan Eng to answer over the Boustead compensation in court of law, the next sensible move will be bringing Patahiyah Ismail and Lim Guan Eng to answer for their decisions on hillslope development over (alleged) serious breach of trust in court of law.

Sze Tho

An Soon,
For someone with such poor understanding, you sure talk a lot. MPPP needs to answer everytime you open your big mouth? They have work to do unlike loyar buroks like you .

By the way, you have bragged a hundred times about dragging LGE to court, and yet….
Till today …nothing…nada.
Please , everyone can see you are just hot air.
I wonder if you are senile?


Local councils are under no compulsion to automatically approve applications to extend the period of approval for planning permissions that have already lapsed, a former MPPP secretary has pointed out. They are under no compulsion but they do have the rights and authority to do so if it deemed right within the structure plan. So what is the issue ????. So full stop. Don`t stir up trouble just because of the election. Just like that idiotic pornstar who said that there will be a water critical mass in 2 months if there is no rain or the Langat 2 has… Read more »


The issue is that MPPP and state govt issued a press statement saying that they have been forced to renew these projects which BN approved and are powerless to reject them or be faced with lawsuits. Now we know this is not the case because MPPP can reject any project special or not as long as it has valid reasons. And the valid reason is that it goes against state policy which bans projects above 250 ft. Either MPPP really honestly didn’t know it has the powers or it has useless legal advisers or they deliberately lied to the CM.

ong eu soon

What about collusion? You seriously think a session consummate politician can easily mislead by other and pledged stupid at end of the day. We have been hitting him hard and accusing him refused to fight against Boustead over the compensation. Same pattern emerged in all hillslope developments be it above 250ft or above 25 degree gradient, you have witnessed biased stand in favor of developers when we called Lim Guan Eng to right the wrongs of the previous state government. Not only he refused to right the wrong, he actually justified the wrong and perpetuate the wrongs of the previous… Read more »

Sze Tho

You cannot revoke an approval which was issued BEFORE the new guidelines & policy on land above 250 feet. Retroactive application is not provided for, that’s why. Furthermore, special projects at the discretion of the state gov is provided for. Ah Soon, is again barking up the wrong tree. Bousted has legal rights too. If they are forced to downscale their project, they have valid grounds to seek damages in court. * Note : their development approval was not in breach of any state regulations or policy at the material time. Hence any assessed financial loss will make the state… Read more »


Sze Tho, nobody is asking the state to revoke an approval. In the first place, the approval is not perpetual and does not last forever. It expires after one year. Just like our road tax, driving license etc. It is not a life membership into a club. Then the developers have to re-apply and satisfy MPPP all over again, that the project should be approved a second time. This is because local conditions, rules and regulations change. If they want their project to be approved a second time, the project must satisfy all conditions made before, before the resubmission. So… Read more »

Sze Tho

Kevin: The issue of the Boustead compensation has been brought up many times, especially by Ah Soon who claims that no compensation is needed. In that particular case, the project was asked to be scaled down so as not to jeopardise Penang’s Unesco World Heritage status. Of course the developer is entitled to seek damages/compensation! As for development approvals that have lapsed, I tend to agree. The onus is on the developer to reapply and conform to the latest requirements. This is coming from a laymen’s perspective. My question to you.: has there been any legal precedence ? You have… Read more »


Nobody owes the developers any guarantee of approval on submission or resubmission or after a lapsed period.
Unless one is ‘Mong Cha Cha’ of regulations carved on the walls of 14th floor Komtar Tower.


Sze Tho, I agree on the boustead hotel project because here the guidelines are given by UNESCO, it is not in any legislation or council regulation. In fact I think UNESCO should have taken these projects into consideration when granting the WHS listing. Maybe ask them to amend their design to comply with the surrounding architecture and design. Why don’t they ask for Komtar to be demolished too? Not everything tall is bad and not everything short is a heritage. The Big Ben in London is at least 10-storeys tall and still it is an important landmark older than most… Read more »

ong eu soon

Is it true that Lim Guan Eng plan to join 1 Malaysia coalition after the coming election? Why Lim Guan Eng seem to be confident that the law will not caught up with him with his open display of … blaming Koh Tsu Koon over the 19 special projects?

ong eu soon

The Sungai Ara Palmex project, which has been rejected, is one of the projecst categorized as “projek istemewa”. This project has been rejected even during KTK period during to it’s inability to get approval for the EIA report . How on earth Sunway City project which is at adjacent lot with much big scale can be approved? Is it also because the local council might face lawsuit of hundred of millions ringgit if the SPC chaired by Lim Guan Eng refused to re-approve the lapsed approval? Is this a … case where Lim Guan Eng allegedly knowingly made a false… Read more »

ong eu soon

The local planning authority has all the rights to ask Boustead to modify the planning permission to meet the heritage listing requirement…

Read my article at


The local planning authority has all the rights to ask Boustead to modify the planning permission to meet the heritage listing requirement and so does Boustead has the right to sue the MPPP and state govt for compensation up to 60 millions

ong eu soon

Then we wait to see whether my argument valid or yours is valid. When somebody landed himself don’t blame me. If you do, I will apply for political asylum and run away from this stupid Bolehland.

ong eu soon

Can’t image walking on the streets of Penang or Malaysia without being harassed … by sycophants when their idol is in jail. May be the sycophants are as coward as their idol …

Sze Tho

A Soon,
You can dream on. You think anyone bothers about you….?
It shows how desperate you are for attention that you have to constantly promote your miserable blog here.
Tak laku lah.

tan tanjong bungah

Hi everyone,

The MPPP President must come up with confirmation and/or clarification on the above comments of Datuk Lakhbir Singh Chahl, a former MPPP Secretary.

Has there been any legislation amendments since Dtk Lakhbir’s time as the MPPP Secretary? If so, what are they? If not, why didn’t the council use the powers given them to not renew the lapsed plans for projects which would have environmental and social impact in the surrounding projects’ areas?


Who is now “Pan Mong Cha Cha” (acting blur blur)?
Bukit Kukus, Paya Teubong hill project was applied soon after 308, what say you, MPPP?


Correction: Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong

ong eu soon

Lapse of memory! That is why it is always Mong Cha Cha.
By the way, where is all the 28th floor boys and girls? Too shy to tell us off? Come and make me angry, nothing happened yet! Why worry?