Shophouse refurbishment: owner’s burden, says Loh

Kuching: Shophouse owners are responsible for bringing in engineers and builders to renovate their premises should the need arise.

Batu Lintang City Councilor Datuk Lo Kere Chan pointed this out, saying the submission of the structural drawings to council was for record purposes only.

He was responding to Stampin councilor Chong Cheng Jen, who complained of slow response from the city council after a report on the safety of the two-storey shophouse building here was submitted. .

Mr Lowe stressed that the council’s engineers had not gone through the structural design with a professional engineer providing structural drawings to the council.

“Structural integrity depends on the design engineer responsible for the lifelong structural design.

“In the case of these two-storey shophouses that have been around for the past 40-plus years, we have noticed that many of them have been repaired or renovated to meet the needs of the business.

“I am completely perplexed by the tenants who have lodged complaints with Mr Chong but are unwilling to move out of the premises they are renting or renovate their shops,” he said.

He questioned why Chong did not recommend that the complaining tenant be evicted or that the store be renovated.

“This is even more perplexing to me. But whatever Mr. Chong’s agenda is this time, I would urge him not to confuse the public or waste everyone’s time.

“All Mr Chong has to do is advise certain tenants to vacate or repair the premises.

“We are all mature enough to understand that if a two-story building is dangerous, we should not continue to rent the space and risk our lives,” he said. Ta.

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