Article contributed by Anusha Gopala Krishnan, Officer, Safer Malaysia Committee, and photos by Mohd Fazli Rosman, Administrative Assistant, Bar Council
The Bar Council Safer Malaysia Committee organised a public seminar on 5 Oct 2015 entitled “Gated and Guarded Communities: The Legal Perspective”, at the Raja Aziz Auditorium, Straits Trading Building.
The public seminar commenced at 10:00 am with Sarah Kambali, the master of ceremonies, inviting the Co-Chairperson of the Safer Malaysia Committee, Richard Wee Thiam Seng, to deliver the opening address.
The line-up of speakers for the seminar was as follows:
(1) Darren Lai Xuenwei, Co-Chairperson of the Bar Council Safer Malaysia Committee;
(2) Marcus Low Chee Hoong, Member of Safer Malaysia Committee, and Member of the Bar; and
(3) Khairul Anuar Shaharudin, Member of the Bar.
The seminar was very well attended, with an attendance of a total of 148 participants consisting of Members of the Bar, pupils in chambers, law students, representatives from resident associations, as well as members of the public.
The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the Federal Court’s decision in the case of Au Kean Hoe v Persatuan Penduduk D’villa Equestrian where the Federal Court ruled that the use of boom gates across public roads and guardhouses in residential areas is legal, based on the facts of that case. Other contentious areas of law related to guarded and/or gated communities in Malaysia was also addressed by the speakers.
Darren Lai explored the legal aspect of the use of boom gates across public roads and guardhouses in residential areas. He also provided an explanation from the perspective of the Fire and Rescue Department, ie closed and unmanned barriers hinder access during times of emergency. In addition to that, he also summarised the consequential issues that may arise from social and economic standpoints.
Next, Marcus Low provided the participants with a detailed analysis of the Au Kean Hoe case, and the implications of the case. He reiterated that the decision of the Federal Court on this case is constrained to its facts and should not be used as a blanket decision. The final speaker, Khairul Anuar Shaharudin, clarified on the current laws on gated and guarded community that are in place in Malaysia.
After all the speakers had delivered their presentations, Sarah Kambali invited the audience for a question-and-answer session. The panellists successfully held their own with their informative exchange of thoughts, and undoubtedly, the audience gained new perspectives on this issue.
In conclusion, the public seminar was a success as most of the contentious issues pertaining to the relevant laws were addressed and discussed in great depth by the panellists.