Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
'Issue subsidiary titles, OCs together'

Published on: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) is supportive of the State Local Government and Housing Ministry's drive to form a Joint Management Body (JMB) for strata properties pending the issuance of Subsidiary Titles and the formation of Management Corporation for the developer-management personnel and the residents to cooperate and work together with greater understanding, effective Jan 1, 2014.

Shareda Deputy President, Chew Sang Hai said this during a meeting at the Ministry on the formation of JMB chaired by the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing, Dr Joachim Gunsalam.

"We have always encouraged our members to uphold the best standards and work with the purchasers," Chew explained.

Dr Joachim said the Minister Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor was very concerned over the matter and wanted positive solutions found.

"A lot of problems could be averted if only the Subsidiary Titles could be issued at the same time as the OC or the CCC if as applied in West Malaysia," Chew suggested, in order that the management corporation could be formed as soon as the residents start to occupy their homes and take on greater responsibility of looking after their housing estate.

In reply, Fong, representing the Lands and Surveys Department regretted that the suggestion by Shareda could not be currently implemented.

He explained that the strata properties must be completed first, followed by the survey prior to the issuance of the Subsidiary Titles.

Valuer Eric Chong from WTW Property Management with many years of property management experience in Sabah, spoke up on the difficulty of making some residents pay up their maintenance fees and to sue such delinquent debtors in a court of law is costly as legal fees incurred to institute court actions in some cases could be more than what the delinquent debtors owe to the management firm. Shortfall in the collection of management fees would impede proper management of strata properties.

"There should be a special tribunal for such claims," he suggested. Dr Gabriel Chong of the Housing Controller office in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing said that was why the ministry wants to encourage the formation of Joint Management Body (JMB) effective January 1, 2014 between developers whose licenses are still valid with the ministry and residents of strata properties in Sabah to forge better cooperation and resolve problems, although JMB is not legally empowered or recognised.

"We want to try to address these issues administratively," Chong said, pending any new development to existing laws and regulations.

The Subsidiary Title Owners and Purchasers Association (STOPS) chairman Ken Lo addressed the meeting on the JMB and elaborated at length on a number of pressing issues to be addressed urgently by the authorities, especially the need by building management to make prompt repairs to defects and wear and tear of buildings, and that all fee payment and expenses accounts be required to be made transparent as residents want to know what their monthly payments were used for.

He cited the example of Kendara Court which was highlighted in the Daily Express in the past to remind what would happen to a building asset and value if management and maintenance were not properly carried out.

Shareda's legal advisor lawyer Christopher Chin of Messrs Lind Willie Wong and Chin, also spoke on the concerns raised during the meeting.

Chin who has extensive experience in drafting some of the standardised sale and purchase agreement for the ministry, said that an existing Schedule was drawn up to address many of the concerns voiced out by the attendees.

One such measure would be to cut off the water supply to the delinquent debtors' units to compel them to pay up.

Dr Joachim closed the meeting by declaring that the JMB move by the ministry as agreed is the way forward for the present.