Photo Credit Utusan Malaysia
clock 09-05-2023
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Sabah State Government Introduces New System of Certification for Completed Buildings (CCC)

The state government of Sabah has recently announced a significant change that will affect developers and local councils alike. The government has declared that developers will no longer require an "occupation certificate" from the local council upon completion of their buildings. Instead, the government will allow for a new system of certification by professionals, known as the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam made the announcement during the Uniform Building By-Laws (UBBL 2022) workshop. According to Dr Gunsalam, the issuance of the CCC by professionals or Principal Submitting Person (PSP) will replace the occupation certificate previously issued by local authorities. The PSP is a group of professionals consisting of architects, engineers, and registered plan drafters.

Dr Gunsalam stated that the amendments to allow for CCC certification were a major thrust to meet the building and construction needs of the state. He added that the new system of certification would provide for self-certification and self-regulation, as the issuing of the CCC by the submitting person would allow for greater autonomy. Local councils would still be able to use their authority under by-laws 216(4) and (5) of the UBBL 2022 to carry out inspections during construction to ensure that it complied with the approved building plan.

The UBBL 2022 is a positive step by the state government to adapt with current practices of architecture and engineering, according to Dr Gunsalam. The new by-laws provide for local councils to impose a compound and a penalty against any person who violates provisions under the UBBL 2022. The compound must not exceed RM5,000, and the penalty must not exceed RM100,000. This provision indirectly allows local councils to deal with the problem of building structures without local council approval or illegal structures, which are often controversial issues in every district.

Dr Gunsalam, who is the state Local Government and Housing Minister, emphasized that UBBL 2022 provides some guidelines to local authorities to provide the best service in overcoming shortcomings in their administration, implementation, and enforcement of building by-laws. Before the UBBL was gazetted, there was inconsistency and non-uniformity in the administration, implementation, and enforcement of building by-laws by each local authority. In addition, the building by-laws that exist in some local governments are laws that have been seen as no longer relevant.

This change has the potential to reduce the time it takes to get an occupation certificate, which is one of the main reasons why developers are excited about the new system. However, it remains to be seen how the new system will affect local councils, and whether it will lead to less rigorous inspections during construction. While the new system of certification has its advantages, local councils will still have to ensure that construction complies with the approved building plan. It is hoped that UBBL 2022 will streamline the process and provide greater clarity for all parties involved in building and construction projects in the state.

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