Monday, October 19, 2009

The saga continues...

JMC member denies abuse of power

IN StarMetro’s report “Condo residents in a fix” on Aug 8, one of the residents of South City Condominium claimed that they had been denied the right to vote.

In an interview, Khong Chee Seng, who chaired the AGM, and Joint Management Committee (JMC) member Kan Wai Hoong provided their side of the story.

In the article, one of the residents was quoted as saying, “An outsider (non-condominium owner) called Khong Chee Seng was hired to chair the annual general meeting (AGM). He said that there was no need for an election as the elected JMB can continue their term for three years.

“We did not agree but he said that it was illegal to have an election.”

Khong denied ever having said it was illegal to have an election.

“We don’t deny that the election of JMC members was on the agenda as it is a standard procedure under the laws of Malaysia.

“I even acknowledged that it was the right of a consumer to vote, as stated in Act 663 (or Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007), Section 11.2,” he said, presenting several documents pertaining to the duties and powers of a Joint Management Body.

However, he pointed out that in the Laws of Malaysia, under the heading of Joint Management Committee (JMC), “the committee shall consist of the developer and not less than five and not more than 12 purchasers, who shall be elected at the AGM of the Body and shall hold office for a period of not exceeding three years or until the dissolution of the body in accordance with section 15, whichever is earlier”.

“There would be an election, provided there is a vacancy in the JMC.

“Some residents claimed they had heard that some members would be resigning. They kept harping on the issue, telling the JMC to declare if there were any members resigning, but there was none,” he said.

It was mentioned in the article that residents had shown letters from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) in reply to their complaint on the AGM, in which the council requested the JMB to provide the AGM minutes and an explanation as well as relevant documents.

In a second letter to the JMB chairman, the council ordered the committee to set a date for the EGM, in accordance with sub-section 10(2)(b) of the Building and Common Property (maintenance and management) Act 2007 (Act 663).

Khong said he had not received any letter from the MPSJ.

On his role as the chairman of the meeting, he said he had been proposed as an independent chairman and it was cleared when he registered.

Meanwhile, Kan said there was no abuse of power.

On the residents’ claim that they had been denied the right to view certain documents, he said, “They have to submit an official letter for permission to view the documents.

“The JMC is curious as to why these residents did not bring up issues during the AGM, which was a platform for them to do so.

“None of them asked about the car park and sinking funds,” he said.

“I’ve been a housing activist for the past 12 years as well as an adviser to JMCs.

“I don’t deny there are people who love me and those who hate me when I raise certain issues.

“I hope that this issue can be an eye-opener, not only for condo owners but also others, including government authorities.

“The fault lies in a lack of unified interpretation of the law. Hence, education is of the utmost priority and I hope the Selangor housing board can come up with clear guidelines to prevent ambiguity and confusion.

“We don’t want consumers to be victims of the process,” Khong said.

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