Update: The maximum fine under the law for this offence is RM500,000 or two years jail or both. The CM has described the RM6,000 fine imposed as a mere slap on the wrist and has instructed the MPPP to appeal for a heavier sentence.
The firm responsible for demolishing an old double-storey building along Pykett Avenue without local council planning permission was fined a small sum by the magistrate’s court yesterday.
Klassik Tropika Development Sdn Bhd of the Mah Sing Group was fined RM6,000 for the demolition, which took place just days before a scheduled MPPP inspection (probably to assess if the site had any heritage value) in July 2010.
This saga brings back memories of how a RM2 company was fined RM50,000 for the Christmas Day 1993 demolition of the historical Metropole Hotel, a property worth RM9.5 million back then.
Seriously, folks, what is there to stop developers from tearing down buildings like these? The fine is hardly a deterrent as it will very likely be factored into the cost of projects, which may have GDVs running into millions, if not billions of ringgit.
Unless… the MPPP appeals to the High Court and if the MPPP freezes future development of the property. After the demolition in July 2010, the new landowner submitted an application to MPSP in October 2010 to build 315 apartments in four towers. State exco member for Local Government Chow Kon Yeow reportedly said the application has since been frozen.
Keep an eye on Pykett Avenue.