Palm Court not for rowdies
08/01/2009 The Malay Mail
The Palm Court Condominium Joint Management Body (JMB) has come out strongly
to defend its efforts to clean up the residential area.
JMB committee member and Residentsí Association secretary S. Murali, who
also owns and occupies a unit there, said the JMB started tightening the
screws after it took over from the developer last year.
However, he alleged, the JMBís strict efforts to reduce the crime rate
within the condominium area were being derailed by a small group of
residents who had been profiteering in what was a semi-lawless enclave not
too long ago, where all and sundry could trespass the gated and guarded
"If you walked into Palm Court at night before, you could see people
loitering around the shoplots with beer cans in hand and even urinating
anywhere they liked," Murali claimed.
Before the Building and Strata Title Act 2007 came into force, he said
developers ran the place as they saw fit and formed their own management
committees to oversee the affairs of residential developments.
Now, under the Act, the developer must form the JMB and only one person from
the developerís side can represent the management committee together with a
maximum of 12 representatives who are owners.
"Palm Court JMB now has representatives from six owners and one from the
developer. When the owners were elected as office bearers last March at our
first annual general meeting, we put into place several measures to make
this place safer and more conducive for residents."
Murali, a former vice-president of Affin Bank Bhd, said it was the wish of
the majority of the unit owners who wanted change. "We wanted to restore
decency and have some semblance of law and order."
Under the Building and Strata Title Act 2007, only owners can decide how
things are run in a gated and guarded community. The first meeting was
attended by 200 unit owners.
"We were given the mandate to run things and the consensus among the owners
was that priority ought to be given to safety and making it conducive for
families to live in," explained Murali.
"Not too long ago, this place was filled with unwanted characters doing all
sorts of illegal businesses," he said, adding that some were believed to be
harbouring illegals and prostitutes.
"Who would want to stay in a place where all sorts of characters can gain
easy access? There is no peace of mind."
One cause of the problem, Murali said, was that the previous management
hadnít complied with the original development order (DO), which only allowed
for three commercial units ó a cafeteria, a laundry and a sundry shop ó to
serve the 3,000-odd residents.
"Now we have 16 commercial units, which had been partitioned by the
developer and rented out," he said, adding that the JMB has filed a suit to
compel the developer to surrender the units.
"In 1999, the developer secured five commercial units which became 16 shops
and he closed gate A and made gate B the main gate to allow outsiders to
patronise the shops.
"We have only reverted to what was stated in the DO and have reopened gate A
as the main gate. Gate B is open for pedestrians and closed during non-peak
"When things get better around here, we will decide if gate B should also be
kept open 24 hours. Until then, we hope the owners and the residents will
bear with us," he said.