The civil responsibility of local authorities goes beyond road safety

Datuk Lawrence Lai

MIRI (September 27): Local councils across the state must take a proactive and holistic approach in the maintenance of roads and public amenities under their jurisdiction or risk being held liable by victims suffering loss of property or injuries, said Party Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Vice Chairman Datuk Lawrence Lai.

Lai said that under the law, the public responsibility of local councils extends beyond road safety to all areas within their respective jurisdictions.

“These include park facilities such as swings, rusty equipment and the like which are within the jurisdiction of the local council, and legally the public can sue for damages and injuries,” he said. declared.

He cited an incident in Sibu where a tree fell and damaged a vehicle in a parking area, forcing the local council to pay compensation to the owner of the car.

Lai, who is a former mayor of Miri, was commenting on a magistrate’s court ruling holding the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) responsible and ordering it to pay RM2,980 to a man after his car was damaged in of a pothole.

Lai said the court’s decision is a reminder of the occupier’s responsibility and that preventive measures must be taken accordingly by local councils, although it may be covered by liability insurance in the event of loss of property or injury.