News: Book To Help High-Rise Residents, JMBs Maintain Security, Safety Launched

Dec 5, 2019

Living in high-rise building in Petaling Jaya could prove a challenge as residents battle a host of issues among themselves and with their respective management corporations (MC) or joint management board (JMB).

“We get many complaints daily from these homeowners when they are not able to come to a mutual agreement,” said Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Commissioner of Buildings (COB) director Jayanthi Kupusamy.

And while she only has a handful of staff, her team conduct checks on 1,252 strata schemes in Petaling Jaya alone, reported The Star.

Read: What are my rights as a strata owner? 

Among the most common issues they dealt with involve fights between MC and residents, money swindling and water leakage between floors.

“Although we have no power to tell the MC or JMB what to do, we (COB) can act as a mediator to help them resolve their issues amicably,” she explained during the launch of the High Rise Security and Safety Manual at Civic Centre in Petaling Jaya.

The manual is written by Petaling Jaya-based community group MyPJ treasurer Eric Chew, in collaboration with Selangor housing and urban living committee as well as the Petaling Jaya parliamentary office.

At the launch, lawyer Kuna Sekaran discussed strata living rights and how residents could better manage their building with their JMB or MC.

“When the developer hands over the building to the JMB, residents need to know what they will take over,” he said.

Residents should know of the building’s insurance status and accounts, while the sinking fund and maintenance accounts should be audited regularly, added Kuna.

“Managing the accounts of a building is very important,” he said. “Every member needs to know the status of the account either monthly or annually so that in an emergency, the residents will know how to manage with what they have in the bank.”

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah revealed that the manual, which comes in four languages, categorised issues usually raised by JMBs and provided practical ways on how they could be resolved with residents.

“Strata homeowners should also take charge of their own property and not rely on COB and the police each time they run into financial trouble or get into a misunderstanding,” she said.

“This book serves as a guide to let them know their rights and what they can do.”

Chew shared that the idea to write the book – which touches on residents, non-residents, security, vehicles and emergencies – came after listening to the complaints of his friends living in high-rise flats and condominiums.

“With this book, I hope to be able to help others with a starting point on how to get organised and maintain security and safety in their homes,” he said.


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