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understanding with engineering students as the audience.

The paper was revised in 2009 and now


uploaded to be shared with a larger audience.
Badrul Hisham Mohamad Said 2011
NB: References used for thi s paper i s l i sted at the end of the seri es
UBBL 1984
1.0 INTRODUCTION
This paper is intended as an overview of the current legislations governing building and
construction industry in Malaysia.

The paper is not meant to be a comprehensive discourse on all the laws concerning property
development and construction. Nonetheless, it will give a specific review on the Uniform Building
By-Laws, 1984 / Amendments 2007 that had undergone significant amendments, as well as
touching on the principal Act 133 - Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 / Act A1286 -
Amendment 2007, in light of the implementation of the Certificate of Completion and
Compliance [CCC].
1.1 LAWS AND THE PROFESSIONALS IN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT
To understand the extent of the arm of the law in the building and construction industry it is
best to illustrate the effects of some of these Acts in a property development. The following is a
general idea of the coverage of the various Acts in property development procedures and
construction processes:
DEVELOPERS
In order to start a property development on a piece of land, a developer and his consultants,
especially the surveyors and town planners and to a lesser extent the architect and engineers,
must understand the provisions in the National Land Code, 1965. As an example, before turning
a piece of land into a developable real estate, the property developer will need to ascertain the
Category of Land Use and Express Conditions and Restrictions in Interest of the said land. The
developer must decide whether it will be necessary to convert its Category of Land Use from
Agriculture into Building or Industry and to undertake Amalgamation or Sub-division exercise or
Surrender and Re-alienation of the land. The developer should also be familiar with the Land
Acquisition Act, 1960, if the development involves acquisition of land by the Government for
public use or of economic benefits to the public.
As the property developer moves deeper into the development processes and beyond land
matters, the developer should be very well versed with Housing Development (Control and
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BLOGLIST
Licensing) Act, 1966 and Strata Titles Act, 1985. These Acts govern commercial developments
of landed and stratified properties and among others the ways to conduct the construction, sale
transactions and full development of the properties.
TOWN PLANNERS
Simultaneously, a town planner will start work on a master plan of the proposed development. In
addition to the National Land Code, 1965 and the Land Acquisition Act, 1960, the town planner
will also need to understand the relevant Acts and guidelines which bound his town planning
designs. This is especially true with the Local Government Act, 1976, the Town and Country
Planning Act, 1976 and the Environmental Quality Act, 1974. For instance, the requirement for
Planning Approval links the Town and Country Planning Act, 1976 directly to the National Land
Code, 1965. In this instance, a Surrender and Re-Alienation exercise for the land under the
National Land Code, 1965 will not be considered until a Planning Approval is obtained under the
Town and Country Planning Act, 1976.
ARCHITECTS
The architect will definitely look at aesthetics and functions as the prime movers of a design.
However, the architect must also be as concerned with the requirements of the relevant building
by-laws, i.e. with respect to requirements such as access, lighting, health, safety, ventilation,
and fire protection. To achieve the balance between good design, great functionality and the
law, the architect will need to comprehend the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984, which was
enacted under Section 133 of the Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974, and the relevant
Malaysian Standards governing design parameters such as the quality of building materials and
performance, and access for the handicapped.
If the architect is involved with the development from the earliest stages, he must also be
familiar with the National Land Code, 1965, the Land Acquisition Act, 1960, the Local
Government Act, 1976, the Town and Country Planning Act, 1976 and the Environmental Quality
Act, 1974. If the architect is involved with commercial developments, he should also be very well
versed with the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 and Strata Titles Act,
1985, as he will be a party to the certification processes described in these Acts.
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS
The environmental engineer will also be looking into the Environmental Quality Act, 1974. The
Act plays an important role in the protection of the environment. Normally, the environmental
engineer will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] report for
developments tracts of land over 50 hectares. Nonetheless, only with inputs of other
professionals, e.g. architects, civil engineers and planners, who are guided by the various Acts
related to their professions, that the environmental engineers would be able produce the EIA
report.
CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
To design the infrastructure and services for a development, a civil engineer will need to know
the regulations governing their designs for earthworks, roads and drains, water supply,
sewerage and the like. Hence, it will be useful for a civil engineer to be acquainted with some
details in Acts such as the Drainage Works Act, 1954, the Irrigation Areas Act, 1953, the
Environmental Quality Act, 1974, the Sewerage Services Act, 1993, the Waters Act, 1920 and
also the Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974,
A geotechnical engineer may wish to know about soil properties and the underground nature of
the development land, but a structural engineer will work within a prescribed standards and laws
in order to design structures.
The structural engineers main concern is to ensure the stability and soundness of buildings
foundations, sub-structures and super-structures, which nowadays are usually of steel or
concrete. Additionally, concrete work usually involves additional requirements for the concrete
to withstand fire, high impact and, its ability to prevent or water leakages or seepages.
Even though quite a number of structural engineers refer to the British Standards and related
British references for their design guidelines, some of these conditions and requirements are
actually covered in the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984.
If the C&S engineer is involved in commercial developments, they should also be very well
versed with the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 and the Strata Titles
Act, 1985, similar to the architects, as the C&S engineer will be a party to the certification
processes described in the said Acts.
MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS
The M&E engineer will be most concerned with the efficient delivery of all of the building
services. Their scope of work varies greatly between small buildings, and tall and large
buildings. Definitely, for large and tall buildings, the M&E engineer must be very familiar with
the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984, in particular its fire protection system, lighting and
mechanical ventilation requirements. In addition, they should also be very conversant with the
Factories and Machinery Act, 1967 for guidelines on building transportations such as lifts and
escalators, the Fire Services Act, 1988 for additional fire protection requirements, the
Electricity Supply Act, 1990, the Sewerage Services Act, 1993, the Communications and
Multimedia Act, 1988 and the Waters Act, 1920.
Like his counterparts, the architects and the C&S engineers, if the M&E engineer is involved
with commercial developments, he should also be very well versed with the Housing
Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 and the Strata Titles Act, 1985, as he will be a
party to the certification processes described in these Acts.
BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS
Builders and contractors are also bound by the same regulations governing the consultants;
particularly the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 and its principal Act, the Street, Drainage &
Building Act, 1974. However, Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1994 [OSHA] and the
Construction Industry Development Board Act, 1994 [CIDB] are two of the Acts most identifiable
with the construction industry.
For specialist contractors, especially M&E contractors, the Factories and Machinery Act, 1967,
the Electricity Supply Act, 1990, the Sewerage Services Act, 1993, the Communications and
Multimedia Act, 1988 and the Waters Act, 1920 are very relevant to their work.
The Standards of Malaysia Act, 1995 is the main Act the CIDB refers to in its pursuit for an
Industrialised Building System [IBS] wherein CIBD advocates to the industry to adopt a
construction process that utilises techniques, products, components, and/or building systems
which involve pre-fabricated components and on-site installation. Of particular interest to the
construction industry are the standardised Pre-cast Concrete Structural Framing, Panel and Box
Systems, Steel Formwork and Framing Systems, Prefabricated Timber Framing Systems and
Block Work Systems.
With the implementation CCC, builders and contractors are now required to be responsible and
accountable under UBBL and the related Acts for their handiworks.
ABSTRACT
In summary, none of the players in the industry, be they property developers, building
contractors or construction professionals such as architects, engineers, surveyors and town
planners, can work without being governed or at least taking consideration of or making
references to the Acts and Regulations of the land.
The Acts that have been referred herein so far are:
1. Act 56 - National Land Code, 1965
2. Act 117 Architects Act, 1967 / A1287 Amendments 2007
3. Act 118 Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 / Act A1289 Amendment 2007
4. Act 127 Environmental Quality Act, 1974
5. Act 133 - Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 / Act A1286 Amendment 2007
6. Section 133 . By-Laws of Act 133 - Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 / Amendment 2007
7. Act 138 Registration of Engineers Act, 1976 / A1288 Amendments 2007
8. Act 139 - Factories and Machinery Act, 1967
9. Act 171 Local Government Act, 1976
10. Act 172 - Town and Country Planning Act, 1976
Posted by badrulhisham at 3:45 PM
Labels: UBBL 1984
11. Act 318 Strata Titles Act, 1985 / Act A1290 Amendments 2007
12. Act 341 - Fire Services Act, 1988
13. Act 418 - Waters Act, 1920
14. Act 447 - Electricity Supply Act, 1990
15. Act 486 Land Acquisition Act,1960
16. Act 508 - Sewerage Services Act, 1993
17. Act 514 - Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1994
18. Act 520 - Construction Industry Development Board Act, 1994
19. Act 588 - Communications and Multimedia Act, 1988
Replies
Reply
2 comments:
Anonymous June 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM
there is a developer building a condo near my housing estate. Can you tell me when they must
stop working in the evening? This developer has its highrise crane (lighted) working till late at
night and it is disturbing the area. Last night it was still noisily working till midnight.Please
enlighten us.
Reply
badrulhisham June 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Work Sites working hours are normally between 800am and 0600pm. However,
upon application to the relevant local councils, contractors are normally allowed to
apply for extended working hours if the local councils deem the extended working
hours will not inconvenient the neighbourhood.
Neighbours may check with the relevant local council whether
1. the contractor [working for the developer] has the necessary approval to work
beyond the normal working hours, and if it has,
2. the conditions of the approval for extended working hours. Normally, the conditions
given by the local council would include that the work done during these hours
should not inconvenient or excessively disturb the neighbourhood especially late at
night.
Hope this reply helps.