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KL moots star rating for housing projects

Move will allow buyers to assess environmental risk

(KUALA LUMPUR) Housing projects in Malaysia could be given a rating of one to five stars, depending on their level of risk to the environment.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Azmi Khalid said on Monday that the move was to discipline developers to exercise care and emphasise safety for property buyers and dwellers. This proposal, however, was still being studied, he added.

‘It is suggested that all commercial and housing projects be given star ratings, perhaps a rating of one to five. A five-star rating means the project is risk-free while a one-star rating denotes high risk. It is up to the people whether they want to buy the property or not.

‘If they still want to buy property in an area with a high environmental risk, then they will have to face the consequences.’

Mr Azmi was speaking to reporters in KL after launching the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) celebration and the Petroleum Geology Conference and Exhibition, organised by the Geological Society of Malaysia and Petronas.

He said most housing developers were too profit-oriented such that they neglected safety aspects and the effects of their projects on the environment.

‘There are those who build houses after cutting off parts of hills and covering up the water channels. This can cause flash floods and other disasters,’ said Mr Azmi.

Earlier in his speech, he said the main aim of the IYPE celebration was to promote the potential of geological science in creating a safe, healthy and prosperous society and its effective use, such as in the petroleum industry.

Fifty-two technical papers are being presented and discussed at the two-day conference, attended by about 1,000 local and foreign participants.

The exhibition, meanwhile, is participated by 35 organisations including petroleum companies, service companies and local and foreign universities.

 

Source: Bernama (Business Times 15 Jan 08)

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