Existence of rental rooms the size of a 'grave' caused by lack of monitoring by local authorities

13 Oct 2023 01:06pm
Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin
Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin

SHAH ALAM - The existence of homes or premises renovated to have additional small rooms akin to the size of a grave made for rental purposes is due to the lack of monitoring by local authorities.

Former housing and local government minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said this has made owners of premises to act according to their own will to create different concepts of rooms especially in major cities like Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam.

“I believe that the process of renovating premises to capsule rental rooms does not comply with the conditions set by the accommodation provider as stipulated under the Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities Act 1990 as well as the regulations enforced by the government on June 1, 2020,” she told Sinar Premium.

The former Ampang MP said owners of premises should receive approval from local authorities to perform such renovation works for the well-being of the residents to be protected.

“I believe that most premises were used to become rental ‘birdcages’ to make modifications illegally without the local authority's approval from the areas involved.

“Current laws made it mandatory for all office owners, business or residential buildings to submit a draft plan to local authorities before renovating the premises involved,” she said.

On Tuesday, it was reported that capsule rooms which were like the size of a ‘birdcage’ which could only fit one mattress were being rented out for RM300 a month.

The rental rooms that abandoned all sense of safety and comfort were becoming abundant as owners of the premises wanted to rake in profits.

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Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Corporate Planning Department in a statement said residents or tenants of rooms which have been renovated and did not fulfill Act 171 Section 78 were at risk of having actions taken if evidence was found regarding overcrowding.

Malaysia Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director-general Datuk Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin said the guidelines regarding the enforcement of additional walls with the aim of creating new bedrooms for owners and residents of strata buildings in Kuala Lumpur will be announced later by the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Zuraida said the capsule rental rooms were suitable for local or foreign workers who were less fortunate, lived alone and returned home only to sleep.

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