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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 community.

"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 hours.

"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.

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