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Building Management Bill is needed: SLS
Published on: Monday, June 17, 2024
By: David Thien
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Building Management Bill is needed: SLS
Property Hunter Director Elson Kho presenting a memento to Chua.
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Law Society (SLS) hopes the Sabah government will realise the passing of the Building Management Bill 2024 or Enactment legislation this year which will bring much clarity and direction to the progress of the real estate property development sector.

Past Chairperson of Sabah Law Society Land Laws Revision Subcommittee Chua Chinn Harn (2019-2023) expressed this in her presentation: “Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for investing in Sabah’s Real Estate” at the Property Hunter Conference Plenary Session II at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), recently.

Deputy Chief Minister II cum Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam, said the draft Building Management Enactment process in collaboration with the SLS and other State agencies and professional bodies will provide better protection for strata property condominium parcel or apartment unit owners.

Chua said West Malaysia has its real estate development laws that are not applicable in East Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak have separate property development laws that are only applicable in their respective states.

“Land, local authorities, town and country planning and housing matters fail within the ambit of the State / concurrent lists of the Federal Constitution – which are matters to be determined by the State of Sabah.”

Sabah has its own Land Ordinance, not the National Land Code applicable in states and federal territories in West Malaysia and Labuan.

Under the Land Ordinance, alienated lands from government land have land titles from Native Titles to Field Register (Native Title that has yet to be surveyed) for Sabah natives to Town Leases, Country Leases and Provisional Leases (Country Lease that has yet to be surveyed) for non-native citizens and foreigners.

Chua said that a real estate property project starts from the purchase of land to the planning stage to the sale and construction period, followed by the completion and handover and thereafter the maintenance.

“Only the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Enactment 1978 with the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Rules 1981 and the Housing Development (Project Account) Rules 1995 are applicable in Sabah.

“What are applicable in other states and federal territories of Malaysia like the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 and the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Ordinance 2013 are not applicable in Sabah.

As for strata property development, in Sabah only the Land (Subsidiary Title) Enactment 1972 applies, not the Strata Management Act 2013 or the Strata Titles Act 1985 enforced in West Malaysia, Chua said.

According to Dr Joachim, prompt issuance of subsidiary titles are crucial to the management and ownership of multi-unit developments such as condominiums and shopping malls.

“This Building Management Enactment is a significant step towards modernising,” Dr Joachim said. 

“Once this Enactment is passed by the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, it will provide more comprehensive guidelines and clarity for strata subsidiary property management, and better protection of parcel or unit owners.

“At the same time, the role and duties of property developers regarding subsidiary development will be clearly defined and better regulated, leading to effective management of the building and its shared facilities.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and guidelines for the Advertising Permit and Developer License (APDL) and Development Plan (DP) application processes are also currently being updated and improved to reduce bureaucracy.

Dr Joachim said adhering to these SOPs is crucial for reducing delays and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

On the digitalisation of various development application processes, he said moving forward, all applications will be submitted online, a change that brings numerous benefits.

Moreover, the standardisation of procedures will no doubt ensure consistency and transparency in the approval process, ultimately leading to more timely approvals and project commencements.

“One of our most notable successes has been the implementation of the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC). 

“This initiative ensures that properties meet all regulatory standards and are certified by qualified persons before they are occupied, significantly enhancing the safety and quality of our buildings.”

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