Safeguarding the strata dwellers

Homes up high should be managed by property managers who are regulated

In the spirit of ‘1 Malaysia’, Federal Government under Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s supposed to safeguard the interest of the rakyat first, above anything anything else. Especially if the subject matter is in conflict against the capitalists’ cartel. However , that is not always the case. Especially when the minister-in-charge ‘Flip-Flop’ped last minute.

Minister of Housing and Local Government Dato’ Seri Chor Chee Heung is in the process of introducing a new Bill in Parliament. Strata Management Bill (SMB) 2012 which would be known as Strata Management Act (SMA). This new act is supposed to rectify a lot of weakness in the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act also known as Act 663,  introduced in 2007. The references of the SMA are Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (VAEA) Act 1981 and Strata Titles Act (STA) 1985.

Currently, in the country there are 13,000 strata building housing schemes involving 1.367 million residential units. Effectively, that is home to 4.1 million persons. Majority people would prefer to live in landed properties. However, challenges such as economic, practicality and lack of space forced residential units to be built in multi-storey buildings. Especially in high density areas such as Klang Valley, Penang and Iskandar Malaysia.

At the moment, there is no qualification nor restriction of who can be classified as ‘Property Managers’. Anyone can form a company and offer themselves to manage strata residential buildings. They are not govern by the VAEA, because registered members of the respective professional bodies Royal Institute of Surveyors Malaysia and Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managements are governed by Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents.

In fact, 58% of these buildings are being managed by property management companies (PMC) which are created and are subsidiary of the project property developers.

Currently, if these PMC are errants and even abscond the dwellers’ monies, they dwellers have no avenue for a recourse. This is because there is no such provision in the existing Act 663 to enforce only persons with the necessary qualifications are allowed to manage these properties. In the most recent case is 152 dwellers signed a petition against Trimax Property  Management Sdn. Bhd., which is managing properties such as Sutera Idaman in Gombak and Teratai Mewah and Genting Court in Setapak. Trimax MD Harjeet Singh S/O Pratap Singh claimed to be graduate and has the necessary experience from Australia.

In a letter signed by these 152 persons to the Minister dated 17 October 2012, they complained that Harjeet Singh never even completed his SPM and worked as a restaurant hand in Australia.

After much deliberation between the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and professional bodies such as RISM and MIPPM ever since Act 663 was introduced in 2007, SMB is supposed to include ‘registered property managers’ as a definition on who should be qualified to manage properties. This definition is in direct reference to the VAEA Act.

Professional property managers who are subjected to VAEA are required to have indemnity insurance, just like other professions which are governed by the respective professional bodies.

BMAM President Dato’ Teo Chiang Kok and Minister of Housing and Local Government Dato’ Seri Chor Chee Heung

The opposition against SMB is by Building Managers Association Malaysia (BMAM), which majority comprises of PMCs not members of professional bodies such as RISM and MIPPM. In fact, majority of the BMAM board are property developers. The President of BMAM is Dato’ Teo Chiang Kok of See Hoy Chan, the developer for Bandar Utama.

In the second reading of the SMB recently, the word ‘registered’ was omitted even though it was introduced in the first reading of the bill in the current Dewan Rakyat session. Why did this happen is a mystery. However, the bet is on the minister-in-charge pandered into the property developers’ cartel instead of looking into the strategic importance of protecting the rakyat’s interest.

This is dangerous as the professional bodies incepted within their own professional practice under the respective acts, are supposed to regulate the profession and the professionals’ conduct. The interest of the 4.1 million rakyat living in the 1.367 million residential units are at the expense for the effort to protect the business being generated for the BMAM members.

Prime Minister Najib has shown tremendous interests for Malaysians to have affordable homes. Agencies such as PR1MA and SPNB are tasked to deliver affordable homes quickly. However, it would be counter productive if existing homes are open to be exploited by unscrupulous business corporations or personalities, who are not qualified as professionals in the respective trade in the first place.

The minister-in-charge may instantly be speculated for protecting his cronies. This is not good especially as the 13GE is around the corner. Majority of these 4.1 million dwellers are voters in strategically important constituencies around Wilayah Persekutuan, Selangor, Penang and Johor.

Published in: on November 13, 2012 at 23:53  Comments (7)  

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  1. Engineers and architect should also be allowed to be the property managers…..they are also governed by their respective institution.

  2. Good thing that you bring up this matter especialy with GE around the corner.

    Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder at whose behest did the minister work? for one, who is really in the driving seat of policy making as far as housing concern? is it REHDA? honestly the impression that rakyat like me get is, they are. This despite the following statement/issue posed by REHDA.

    a. “If the government enforces the build-then-sell (BTS) mechanism, housing supply could be cut by 80 percent and lead prices to soar, according to Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA)”

    b. “The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association of Malaysia (REHDA) is asking the government for a structured mechanism allowing developers to automatically release unsold Bumiputera properties ”

    c. The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (REHDA) recommended for the reinstatement of the previous real property gain tax (RPGT) and for the government NOT to review policies or taxation that benefits the industry.

    d. REHDA also proposed that the Bumiputra quota be standardized across all states and should not exceed 30%.

    Look at how much time and attention the minister spent on REHDA. Did he not know who does REHDA represents? Lets have a look.

    REHDA National Council Members 2012/2014

    Datuk Seri Michael Yam Kong Choy
    Immediate Past President (Ex-Officio)
    Datuk Ng Seing Liong PJN, JP
    Most Recent Past President (Ex-Officio)
    Dato’ Jeffrey Ng Tiong Lip
    Deputy President
    Dato’ Fateh Iskandar b Tan Sri Dato’ Mohamed Mansor
    Vice President / Perak Branch Chairman
    Dato’ Francis Lee Yew Hean
    Vice President
    Dato’ Soam Heng Choon
    Vice President
    Dato’ Ricque Liew Yin Chew
    Secretary General
    Datuk Hj Muztaza b Hj Mohamad
    Deputy Secretary General /Melaka Branch Chairman
    Datuk Anthony Cho Tian Han
    National Treasurer
    Mr Tong Nguen Khoong
    EXCO Member / Patron
    Datuk Eddy Chen Lok Loi

    For those unfamiliar with this group of people, they are basically the bigtime Taikor/Towkey from developer companies. Naturally their objectives are (albeit ambiguously expressed) reflect their concern about protecting their industry’s interest and by extension – profit.

    Now look at how much time did the organisation that sort of ‘represent’ the majority of people – Persatuan Kebangsaan Pembeli Rumah or National Housebuyer Assosiation get from the ministry. From their webpage (just compare the 2 website and you will get the idea who is better organised and funded)

    “National House Buyers Association of Malaysia (HBA) is a voluntary non-governmental, non-profit and non-political organization. Our working committee consists of volunteers from various professions. Our work revolves around sheer humanitarian principles and ethics and we strive wholly for a balanced, fair and equitable treatment for house buyers in their dealings with housing developers.”

    So My question to the good miniter,

    People or Powerful Lobby interest First?

    p/s media kita pun satu, apa-apa hal berkaitan perumahan saja, tergedik-gedik minta ulasan/pandangan dari REHDA.

    • We must oppose anything that goes against the NEP and decisions made to re-structure the Malaysian society. Malays have only 20% corporate wealth, not taking into accout of wealth in other sectors of the economy like commercial buildings and residential properties.

      It’s nonsensical that already after 55 years of independence, there is not a single Malay shop in places like Johor Bahru. So said the President of the Bumiputera Chambers of Commerce or whatever the exact name of the association. God only knows in other towns. The Government is too “shy” or afraid to release actual figures on those matters. For fear that the Malays may go berserk knowing the exact truth.

      So, no, no to the “REHDA asking the government for a structured mechanism allowing developers to automatically release unsold Bumiputera properties” No way. We protest. Loud and clear. May be repeated endlessly here.

      Find other means to make more money if you developers have not made too much already. Hardly any low cost houses built, the Fed Government having to think of low cost housing construction systems like prefab because you people shun that low profit thing.

    • Good of you to bring this matter up.

      REHDA is all about towkays. Esp around KL/PJ/Penang. The smallish small to medium sized developers, including Malay property developers get slighted & felt ‘isolated’.

      REHDA is a cartel, just like BMAM. Selected few, with a barrier for new firms to to enter. They are ‘corporate mafioso’, just like any cartels.

      The unfortunate bit is that, Fateh Iskandar is a BN Selangor MB aspirant. As is, the PKR Selangor MB is already pro-property developers. With scandals like Talam-gate, Dolomite-gate etc., Selangor should also be known as Selangor Darul Ehsan-pemaju.

      All these REHDA excos are not interested in projects for the lower middle income and lower income Malaysians. In short, rakyat’s affordable homes are not and had never been in their agenda. Even Fateh Iskandar has this attitude.

      We dont see how these corporate mafioso ‘influence’ the minister.

  3. Forgot to include REHDA view on low cost housing:

    a. Although Malaysian private developers have achieved tremendous success in the provision of low-cost housing, REHDA believes that the nation has moved on substantially—socially and economically—such that this responsibility can now fully revert back to the Government.

    – Michael Yam (REHDA President) as reported by Bussiness Times:

    b. “There should be no more low cost quota. Government must provide social housing or transit housing for the hardcore and urban poor.”

    – Also Towkay Michael Yam was reported to say among other..

    “Developers should be given incentives for projects in public transport and transit areas with higher density/plot ratio.”

    “To address issues of increasing cost, the sector must be free of new compliance costs, more certainty in Bumiputera quota release system, faster approvals and freeze imposition of policies or guideline laws that add to the cost of development.”

    “For the medium to long term plan, the government should refurbish existing buildings such as public low cost houses, council homes and government complexes to affordable homes.”

    and the best of it……

    “The Malay reserve land or new villages can also be new potential sites for affordable housing as well as building over existing transport infrastructure such as high rise apartments over LRT (light rail transit) stations or over KTM Komuter routes.”

    – Anybody want to hazard a guess whose interest does all this measures serve?

    As for the minister..

    a. “Chor said the Government had been successful in providing low cost housing, but there was a need to look into the grouses of the middle-income group. Chor said this to reporters after attending a roundtable discussion entitled “Housing Affordability: Issues and Challenges”, jointly organised by the Real Estate Housing Developers Association (Rehda) and the Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlement yesterday” – The Star

    b. REHDA’s Night of Appreciation
    A night to remember as REHDA pays tribute to its sponsor and contributors of its newly completed headquarters. Held on 5 October 2012, the significant event was officiated by the Honourable Minister of Housing and Local Government, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Chor Chee Heung who later presented plaques of appreciation to all the sponsors and contributors of WISMA REHDA..

    c. KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 (Bernama) — The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) will showcase a wide selection of properties at Malaysia’s Property Exposition 2010 (MAPEX 2010) from Oct 22 to 24, 2010. Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung, will officiate at the launch of the expo on Oct 23.

    d. During the opening ceremony of the Klang Valley Malaysia Property Exposition (MAPEX) on 21 October, Datuk Seri Michael Yam, President of REHDA highlighted his concerns over the current economic conditions. Present to officiate the opening of MAPEX 2011, Datuk Seri Wira Chor Chee Heung, Minister of Housing and Local Government,

    e. ………MAPEX 2012 Organising Chairman and Past President of Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA). MAPEX 2012 will be held from 19 to 21 October at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur. It will be officially opened by Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, Minister of Housing and Local Government.
    -New Straits Times

    f. REHDA YOUTH organised Green Tour. Officiated by Minister of Housing and Local Government Yang Berhormat Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung, the tour will start off at One World Hotel with Datuk Michael Yam Kong Choy, REHDA President addressing REHDA members and the public…. – Star Property.

    I can go on and on and on. Just Google REHDA and CHOR on google Images you’ll get what I mean.

    As I said earlier, one cannot help but wonder “ada orang punya ‘bola’ sudah kena pegang ka???

    • Is that why Lim Guan Eng said he is not obliged to build low cost housing in Penang, that “it’s the Federal Government’s responsibility,” said he?

      Is RHEDA supporting DAP? Maybe quietly?

      Is there any connection with Lim Guan Eng selling 100+ acres of prime land in Bayan Mutiara to a large housing developer for RM1.07 billion, until no more land to build low cost housing on the island?

  4. Whatttt!arhctct and engineer has their own proffesion, why must include them with this property management, can all of you imagined that and think about the graduate student of property management courses, what they want to dooo??if this two proffesion want to take over their job??
    Graduate student include in UM UITM UTM and SUNWAY COLLEGE, and they include chinese , malay and indian student..fact is over 2000 student are graduate in PM courses..what they want to do if this 2 proffesion going to take over PM proffesion??

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