operators to sue
09/02/2009 Malay Mail By Kharleez Zubin
Several business operators in Palm Court Condominium, who claim to have
suffered heavy losses for more than a year since the new management
committee put the lid on outsiders patronising the gated and guarded
community, are suing the committee for damages and loss of income.
Some claim they have registered a 60 per cent drop in sales after the new
Joint Management Body started implementing new house rules, including
closing the main gate to outsiders.
Spokesman for the 10-odd business operators, N. Sugumaran, 41, who has
been running a vegetarian restaurant in Palm Court for more than 15 years,
said all the business operators are against the JMB for trying to keep
outsiders from patronising their businesses.
“We have engaged Hakim Arabi and Associates to sue the JMB for the losses
we have incurred and compel them through a court order to open the gate to
outsiders who want to patronise the shops in Palm Court,” said Sugumaran.
“Outsiders used to frequent my restaurant for breakfast, lunch, tea and
dinner. Now, there are so few customers,” he said, adding he was losing
some RM15,000 every month. This compared poorly to the almost RM30,000 he
was getting before the closure of the main gate to outsiders.
Following Malay Mail’s reports highlighting the plight of residents
getting in and out of the gated community with the closure of the main
gate by the JMB, two deputy ministers visited the place.
After an intervention by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department T. Murugiah the JMB relented and a compromise was struck. The
main gate was opened for residents, while outsiders were allowed in
through another gate some 100m away.
“There is no point in the move as outsiders will not walk all the way
through the second gate to come to my restaurant,” he said.
The JMB contends that the presence of Sugumaran’s restaurant and other
businesses, like a hairdressing saloon and an Internet cafe in Palm Court,
are drawing many outsiders to the place, which may may lead to security
According to JMB members, Palm Court is a gated community. Unlike a mixed
development, businesses within a gated community are meant to serve
residents and not outsiders.
“In the first place, if we had known that the front gate facing the
commercial area could be closed at the discretion of the JMB, then surely,
we would not have rented this place,” said Sugumaran.
Beauty parlour operator Daisy Alphonse said she used to get clients from
as far as Singapore but the closure of the front gate to outsiders have
taken a toll on her business. “I am going through a really bad time after
the JMB took over and started curbing outsiders from Palm Court.”
Owner of Raj Unisex Saloon, S. Rajasegaran, said he had laid off some
workers after his business was hit due to JMB’s decision to close the Gate
B to outsiders.
Meanwhile, the JMB in turn, is suing the developer, Ramal Properties, to
recover the commercial lots.
JMB members claim that under building by-laws, the commercial units were
supposed to be handed over to the JMB or the management committee by the
While the developer, businesses and the JMB are engrossed in a tripate
legal tussle, the residents are quietly lobbying to oust the JMB members
at its next emergency general meeting which must be held within three
months after its term expired on Jan 28