College and condo management in a dispute
Story and photo by LIM CHIA YING
SPARKS flew when the Le Chateau 2 condominium Joint Management Body (JMB) and Nirwana College clashed over the maximum number of students that should be allowed to stay in the condo units.
The dispute arose after the JMB reintroduced the use of residents’ cards on Tuesday which limited only five people per household as decided by the annual general meeting held by the JMB last year.
Nirwana College, which is renting some of the units at Le Chateau 2 for its students, had placed between eight and 10 students per unit.
This has become the cause of contention with the Le Chateau 2 JMB after its new policy was set.
The JMB claimed that the overcrowding of units created a nosiy atmosphere for the rest.
They also alleged that some of the students misbehaved by gathering at the corridors particularly late at night.
On Tuesday evening, students who came back from their classes found that they could not enter the condominium premises, and sat stranded outside the compound.
In discussion: Maran (facing camera, second from right) talking to some of the JMB members and residents.
A student, who declined to be named, said they were from outstation, and had thought it was a hostel for students instead of a condominium.
JMB chairman Foong Chin Fee said the house rule was implemented on Jan 25 after it was unanimously agreed during their September AGM that there will be no more than five people to an apartment.
“Our JMB then issued residents card from October last year to Jan 1 this year. And when the house rule was implemented on Jan 25, a group of about 10 men stormed in to intimidate and threaten us.
“We lodged a police report at the Brickfields police station that same evening with a footage of the incident on our CCTV,” said Foong.
During Tuesday’s confrontation, a few men in blue had stationed themselves inside the condominium while awaiting the arrival of the college management.
As soon as one of the college representatives arrived, he told the students to go inside the condominium.
The man, who identified himself as the college managing director Maran A.K.Kannan, said the Deputy Housing Minister in 2006 had already decided on this particular issue and claimed that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had also agreed that a small apartment unit will house eight people while a bigger one houses 10.
“The DBKL came to measure the built-up area of the apartment and this issue had been resolved then. We have a letter issued by them on this,” he said.
Maran, who came together with his administration and operations director S.N.Thanabalan, said the students are from poor families hence the college was helping to rent the units on their behalf.
“We have also signed the tenancy agreement in 2006 for this, so you cannot just bar my students from coming in,” he told the JMB members.
“If you wish, you can send us a lawyer’s letter and we will counter sue.”
Maran later said being a college, it was not cost-effective for them to just have five students per unit.
Foong said the JMB would still proceed with their house rule.
“If he claims to have the Housing Ministry’s approval letter, then he should have brought such an important document to show us today.”
When asked what happens to families with more than five members, he said the family concerned could write in to apply to waive the condition.
“We want to prevent our condominium from being turned into a students’ hostel,” he said.