Borneo Post, Photo Credit to Borneo Post
clock 20-12-2017
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Commissioner to Manage Residential, Commercial Properties

The Steering Committee for the Review of Subsidiary Title and Management Corporation will be introducing the Office of Commissioner of Building to address non-performing and poorly-managed Management Corporations (MC).

Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang, who heads the Steering Committee, said the Commissioner of Building would have the power to manage residential and commercial properties.

"With this concept, we are now studying the drafting of new legislation modelled after the Strata Management Act which is applicable in West Malaysia now.

"We will also introduce rules and regulations for subsidiary titles" he said during a courtesy call by the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) led by its president, Chew Sang Hai, on Tuesday 19 December.

Asked when the new legislation would be introduced, Teo said the work was being carried out.

"The work involved is time-consuming and we need to study the legislation in other countries like Singapore and Australia as well.”

Teo said the review of subsidiary title and management corporation had entered the second phase to address issues such as urban decay.

"We found that some completed developments have no residents for some reason and are left to decay, like Kendara.”

He said the committee also had mechanisms to salvage abandoned projects and assist the purchasers.

Shareda has lauded the new directive requiring proposed developments involving the conversion of land use or conversion of land title from Native Title (NT) to Country Lease (CL), for example, will require approval for the conversion before the Development Plan (DP) can be approved.

The move was approved by the State Cabinet in May this year and took effect on June 1, 2017.

Teo said the directive also allowed surveyors to conduct survey work when architects have certified the completion of the superstructure of a multi-storey development in order to speed up the issuance of subsidiary titles.

Shareda welcomed the new directive as they had been facing problems in applying for DP approval due to red tapes.

Teo said the relevant departments should understand their respective roles and jurisdictions.

He said technical issues such as drainage and traffic of a DP came under the jurisdiction of local authorities.

According to the Town and Country Planning Ordinance, Teo said the Central Board's jurisdiction was more on land use, zoning and density of a development.

On the other hand, Teo said Shareda's proposal to bring in China companies to invest in port and cement factory in Sabah was worth looking into.

He said having another cement factory in Sabah would resolve the occasional shortage of cement supply and at the same time, lower construction costs.

During the courtesy call, Chew briefed Teo on the various issues faced by property developers and purchasers.

He hoped that the State Government would organize dialogues to address any unclear or grey areas with stakeholders in Sabah.

On foreign ownership of Sabah properties, Chew proposed to maintain the minimum threshold for landed residences at RM1 million per unit but lower the threshold to RM500,000 per unit for strata residences.

In comparison, he said Sarawak had set the minimum price for foreign acquisition of properties at RM300,000 for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

Based on the Sabah Immigration Department's figures, he said only 300 MM2H participations have been recorded from 2011 to 2015.

On another note, Chew said Shareda had taken part in a delegation to Bejing, China, which was led by Jesselton Group executive chairman Tan Sri David Chu in October this year.

He said China State Construction Engineering Corporation when met had expressed their interest to invest in the Sepanggar Port and cement clinker factory in Sabah.

Chew added that Shareda was also in the process of negotiation with Sabah Credit Corporation to offer credit financing package to property purchasers for down payment.

Meanwhile, Chu said lowering the minimum threshold of strata residences to RM500,000 for foreign ownership would attract more foreigners to participate in the MM2H programme.

He said many Hong Kongese and China nationals actually preferred smaller units, yet most of the condominium units located away from the city centre were priced below RM1 million.

Also present was Shareda deputy president Datuk Chua Soon Ping.

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