Education the key
IT is indeed good
news that the Housing and Local Government Ministry has at long last brought
the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Bill 2006 to
When it is
gazetted some time this year, we at the National House Buyers Association (HBA)
believe that it will alleviate the constant feuding between individual unit
owners, developers and their appointed managing agents.
We believe that
the authorities must now put emphasis on education. By this, we mean that
they must take steps to make sure all parties concerned understand this new
law and the role and duties expected of them.
As we move from
the task of "building" to "preserving and maintaining", it is only
right that the regulatory bodies under the Housing Ministry establish
training programmes to educate the owners and potential owners about the
their rights and responsibilities under the new law.
They must be
taught to understand the principles of a strata scheme, what a joint
Management Body is; and about the formation, role and functions of a
Management Corporation (MC).
They must also be
taught to understand how the funds collected for the maintenance of
common property are put to use.
process should include opportunities for owners to have meaningful
participation and involvement in the maintenance and management of their
strata schemes well in advance of the actual formation of their MCs under
the Strata Titles Act.
There should also
be a detailed manual to tutor those concerned on the intention and workings
of the law. Without it, owners not in the business of property management
and development would have a tough time understanding its intricacies.
It is because of
this situation that we at the HBA strongly feel a period of time should be
set aside for members of the public to learn about the law, and the powers
under it, before it is implemented.
period, we suggest that the following measures be undertaken:
Make copies of
the new law available in all the four major languages used in the country
- Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin and Tamil. This will enable ordinary
people to understand it better.
aims and objectives of the law through the mass media and by way of
information phamplets, commercials on TV, and newsletters;
Set up a
special unit under the ministry and under the local authorities to provide
information, services, advice and assistance to building owners,
residents, owners' committees, managing agents, developers and management
Set up a
Hotline service, which the people can call in to seek assistance on the
various aspects of the law.
Chang Kim Loong