Kelana Mahkota residents worry about abuse of RM1mil fund (updated)

The former committee members of the Kelana Mahkota Condominium joint-management committee (JMC) have vowed to protect the residents’ dwindling RM1mil sinking fund from being allegedly abused by its acting chairman.

Six of them, who held a press conference at Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad’s office this morning, accused Lee of working in cahoots with developer SMI Cityhome Sdn Bhd (SMI) to make decisions in favour of the latter.

Former committee member Adrian Wong said the saga started when the former JMC chairman Wesley Amen decided to step down in April.

Lee was then appointed as acting chairman by a majority of the JMC members, and was obliged to call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the residents within six months.

Wong claimed that Lee had immediately wanted to cease the current property manager’s contract and replace it with a new one.

“We urged him to tender the job for three months but he wanted the old agent to leave immediately,” said Wong.

“On May 17, LDS International was appointed as the new property manager without an open tender process,” he claimed, adding that the company is linked to SMI.

The move is clearly for profit, claims JMC member Felix Cheam, who notes that the residents of 712 units of the condominium pay the management RM200 every month, which amounts to RM140,000.

Residents May, Alex Tan, Harun Mizam and Wong (fourth from right) are part of the 13-member JMB committee who disapprove of Lee’s leadership

“No EGM after six months”

The six claim to have been illegally ousted at a meeting called by Lee in June, and where it was also arranged to transfer the RM1mil fund from a fixed deposit to a current account.

“According to Building and Common Properties Act, we were directly elected by the owners and can only be dismissed if 25 percent of the owners write in or if they hold another EGM,” said Wong

“But they removed us at a meeting, not an EGM,” Wong alleged.

The meeting also saw a resolution being passed to re-audit previous years’ financial statements and to transfer and backdate capital expenditure from the building maintenance fund to the sinking fund.

“They are trying to use the money but make (the previous JMC members) legally liable,” Wong claimed.

Wong is worried that the dwindling fund will be exhausted in no time.

“The fund is meant for future maintenance of the building. It should not be mixed up with the daily operational account,” Cheam said.

He claims that a petition against this decision has garner the legal requirement of 30 percent consent from the owners for it to be revoked, but the current JMC has allegedly refused to back down.

“We even wrote in to commissioner of buildings (COB), who instructed the JMC to hold another EGM, but to no avail,” Cheam claimed further.

The group now urges the JMC to hold another EGM of the entire committee, and to subject the sinking fund to the scrutiny of all owners.

They also claimed that the developer has been slow in applying for strata titles for every owner so it can remain managing the property.

Meanwhile, the Seri Setia assemblyman, Nik Nazmi, said he would bring the issue to the state government exco member for housing, Iskandar Samad, and also the Selangor Housing and Property Board.

Meanwhile, all the allegation have been denied by acting JMC chairman, Lee Ten Ming. When contacted, he claimed it was his accusers that mismanaged the 712-unit property and caused “few hundred thousand [in] losses”.

“When they helmed the JMC from 2009 to 2010, our books were in red despite the residents having paid their fees on time,” he alleged.

He said the management fees would amount to RM130,000 every month, and proved enough for operations and maintenance.

“But because of their inefficiency, they appointed some lousy contractors [to fix the car park barrier] and spent money on [repairing] all the lifts when only one was detected with problems,” he alleged.

“This incurred RM400,000 in debt to our account,” he claimed further.

“Sinking fund not under my name”

He also denied that he was trying to abuse the RM1mil sinking fund meant for building maintenance.

“The fund is still under their names,” he claimed, “they have not changed its signatories; only they can take the money, not me.”

He said his JMC is run transparently compared to the previous one, as its monthly expenditure are put up on the community notice board.

On the dismissal of committee members Alex Tan, Harun Mizam and Adrian Wong in June, Lee claims it was done legally, and has a letter from the COB validating the dismissal as “rightfully done”.

On the lack of an EGM so far, he said the “COB has given us until December to call for [one].”

Meanwhile, Mizam disputes Lee’s entire explanation, claiming that “past and current JMC minutes of Meetings and the developer’s rep letters (SMI Perantara Properties)” show otherwise.

Image courtesy of Malaysia Real Estate website