Selcat recommends that RTPJ2 be revoked and re-gazetted

By TEH ENG HOCK | Jul 6, 2012

Selcat recommends that RTPJ2 be revoked and re-gazetted

THE Petaling Jaya Local Plan (RTPJ2) should be revoked as it was flawed, said Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim.

Following three days of public hearing, Teng’s preliminary recommendation was for the plan to be revoked as the process of gazetting the document was not done according to procedure.

“As far as the law is concerned, the RTPJ2 still stands as it had been gazetted.

“But the safest way is to revoke it, and re-gazette the original version approved by the state executive council,” he told reporters after the Selcat hearing yesterday.

On the first day of the hearing last Wednesday, it was revealed that the failure of the Selangor Town and Country Planning Department (JPBD) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to follow procedures had resulted in three versions of the RTPJ2 coming into existence.

The first version was approved by the state exco, while the second version was gazetted by the JPBD after some amendments were made without consulting the state exco.

By law, it is the local council’s responsibility to send the document for gazetting instead of JPBD.

After it was gazetted, MBPJ made further amendments of their own accord without referring to either JPBD or the state exco.

“The state can revoke RTPJ2, on advice of the state legal adviser, because it is flawed.

“It is better to do this rather than let it be, and (be) open to challenges from aggrieved parties,” said Teng.

He added that the gazetted document was signed by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in his capacity as State Planning Committee (SPC) chairman, which was improper.

“Although it is a technicality, it is important. Exco approval is needed before gazetting, and the document should be signed by Khalid as Mentri Besar, and not as SPC chairman,” he said.

Besides Teng, those on the Selcat panel are state assemblymen Haniza Talha, Saari Sungib, Sulaiman Razak and Hannah Yeoh.

At the hearing, MBPJ town planning senior assistant director Faiwos Abd Hamid admitted that she implemented the changes to RTPJ2 on the instructions of her then director Noraini Roslan.

“I handled it. But I did not purposely make the changes.

“I was following orders. Not just for the PKNS land but for the entire RTPJ2,” she said.

When questioned by Selcat, Noraini, who was urban planning director from Sept 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, said she did not explicitly ask for amendments to be made but admitted that she did not stop the process of “correcting” the RTPJ2.

Just like in last week’s session, she continued to defend herself by saying it was normal practice to make corrections to the local plan after it was gazetted.

Teng said it was unprofessional and irresponsible of her and her team to work according to convention without following the legal process.

“Yes, my officers and I did not refer to the law. My understanding was that there was room to make reviews,” she said.

After the hearing, Teng said the committee would discuss the source of the issue and present their findings and recommendations soon.

He said the problem could be due to “one or two” individuals, or due to the cumulative effect of mistakes made during the long process of coming up with the local plan.

“I will look at the Standing Orders to see if it is possible to suspend the provisions of tabling the findings to the State Assembly before making it public.

“Our meeting (state assembly) is next week, and we (Selcat) cannot present the findings so soon.

“But the following meeting is in November, and that may be too long (away),” he said.