Maintenance has always been a problem for most development projects in Malaysia. Without proper management and maintenance, a good project could fail after vacant possession by the respective owners. In accordance with the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act, 2007 (Act 633), developers have a 12-month period to set up a Joint Management Committee (JMC), together with representatives elected from among unit owners.

The Haven Lakeside Residences will be forming the JMC on October 4, within the 12-month deadline, as the completion of the Tower Banyan and Cycas was on November 28, 2013.

Chairman of its development company The Haven Sdn Bhd, Peter Chan, is adamant that the problems associated with management and maintenance, that has plagued many a condominium residences in Malaysia, will not be allowed to affect The Haven.

With ample experience in property management in Malaysia, responsibly managing Subang Galaxy in Selangor and the low-cost Permai Lake View Apartment in Ipoh, Perak, Peter Chan believes that a successfully managed condominium will need the co?operation of all stakeholders, including both developer and unit owners, so that maintenance fees are collected on time, services are delivered within expectations and the sinking fund is prudently used.

“In some developments, there might be owners who go overboard with their demands and if their demands are not met, they will then go the next step to influence other owners to form ‘groupings’ or ‘committees’ to undermine the work of the management. That is why the law says that we need to have a JMC and all grievances should be channelled to this body. Otherwise there will be a free-for-all, and the overall harmony and resident wellbeing will be affected,” Chan cautioned.

To ensure that the upcoming JMC will be conducting its affairs with transparency, Chan has gone even further to extend an invition to Gen. (R) Dato' Seri DiRaja Tan Sri Mohd. Zahidi bin Hj. Zainuddin, a highly-respected figure in Perak and Malaysia, as well as an owner-resident, to be nominated as the first Chairman of the upcoming JMC.

“We want the owner-residents to have confidence in the way we manage and we want public figures with vast experience to come on board so that we can serve the larger majority with fairness rather than to give in to the demands of the minority who may not have had the benefit of experience, especially in condominium living,” added Chan. 

Gen. (R) Dato' Seri DiRaja Tan Sri Mohd. Zahidi bin Hj. Zainuddin is a member of Dewan Negara Perak, Director of Yayasan Sultan Azlan Shah and Orang Kaya Bendahara Seri Maharaja Perak Darul Ridzuan. He is also Chairman of Affin Holdings Berhad and Genting Plantations Berhad; as well as a Director of Genting Malaysia Berhad, Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad and Bintulu Port Holdings Berhad.

Peter Chan said: “I am excited about Tan Sri Zahidi’s future role in the JMC and I am confident that his stature, wealth of knowledge on strategic planning and corporate governance will help the JMC to function with greater efficiency.”

Forming an effective JMC is not an easy task in Malaysia. The working committee members are volunteers who sacrifice their time and effort, yet do not usually get recognition in return. While on the flip side, there may be some unit owners with ulterior motives, who will strategize to be elected to the committee.  If unsuitable candidates are voted in, the development may head for a most trying time. With the incorporation of The Haven’s JMC helmed by both Tan Sri Zahidi and Chan, the management and maintenance of The Haven should be less burdensome than most.

To be effective, the elected JMC will need to have the full discretion and authority to manage and to ensure that the maintenance and sinking funds are prudently managed. The Haven maintenance and sinking fund currently has over RM1.6 million in its coffers. To the credit of the development, although they could charge a fee for the management of The Haven, all monies collected from unit owners have been placed into the owners’ maintenance and sinking funds, without the developer charging any fee.

Owning and staying in a condominium unit differs from that of a house. Hence owners must be made aware that any committee formed within the community by owners or residents other than the properly constituted JMC is disruptive and undesirable and may even be against regulations and the law.

Additionally, The Haven Sdn Bhd has also appointed Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Megat Najmuddin bin Dato’ Seri Dr Hj. Megat Khas as an independent director to its Board.

Announcing this development, Peter Chan added, “It is with great honour and pleasure that we welcome Tan Sri Megat as our board member. With his experience and qualifications, I am fully confident that he will be able to help us harness the company's strengths and steer it to greater heights. He is a man of integrity whom I fully respect.

Of notable significance is the many important corporate governance positions that he holds, including President of the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance; member of UMNO Malaysia Disciplinary Committee; Institute of Integrity Malaysia; Transparency International Malaysia (TIM); and member on the Advisory Board of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). With such important positions where corporate governance is concerned, Tan Sri Megat will lend a lot more strength and build further trust among those within our organisation."

Tan Sri Megat is the Chairman on the Board of Directors of eight companies, both listed and non-listed, namely: Tradewinds Corporation which owns 10 hotels nationwide, including Hilton Hotel PJ and Kuching, Hotel Istana; Asian Pac Holdings Berhad; Bass Consulting Sdn Bhd; Budaya Hikmat Sdn Bhd; Formis Resources Berhad; Maju Perak Holdings Berhad; SEG International Berhad; Spark Manshop Sdn Bhd and Blondal Services & Sales Sdn Bhd; besides being a board member with the national oil company, Petronas.

Speaking to Ipoh Echo on his new role, Tan Sri Megat said, "I am delighted with the opportunity to work with Peter, a friend I have known for over forty years, when we shared the same hostel while at university in Singapore in the late 1960s. Peter is a man of vision, integrity and talent. His project, The Haven, has brought changes to the landscape of Ipoh properties. As you know, The Haven boasts a beautiful location and is surrounded by nature's splendour. The units are also very well-designed and of top quality. I am very proud to be involved in the project and believe that we will continue to find success in future undertakings."

Meanwhile, we can clearly see the commitment, ability and care of the Developer in their two other projects in Malaysia, namely, Permai Lake View Ipoh and Subang Galaxy Selangor. The management of these two developments has been exemplary and they make good examples for all to emulate.

Emily