clock 09-05-2024
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High Court Resolves Longstanding Legal Dispute Over Peak Vista Condominium Defects

The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak has brought resolution to a longstanding legal battle concerning defects in the common area of the Peak Vista Condominium at Signal Hill, as well as issues with the intercom system in both towers of the condominium project. The dispute, which has persisted for over a decade, was settled in court on Tuesday.

Justice Ismail Brahim, presiding over the Kota Kinabalu High Court, issued a ruling that mandates South-East Best Sdn Bhd, the developer, to address the defects in accordance with reports provided by both the developer itself and Anthony Lee Tee, an expert witness representing the plaintiffs. Tee, associated with Architect Centre Sdn Bhd and the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), provided a report on the defects.

Furthermore, Justice Ismail Brahim ordered the formation of a Joint Management Committee (JMC) comprising condominium owners. Two members of this committee will be nominated by the Protem Committee, with the responsibility of managing various aspects of the buildings, including common property, service fees fund, and sinking fund accounts.

In response to the ruling, the owners of Peak Vista Condominium urged the state government and Housing Ministry to consider amending laws or adopting federal legislation. This would enable the establishment of a JMC after the issuance of the Occupancy Certificate, allowing owners greater involvement in management, as well as enhancing transparency and accountability.

Representing the plaintiffs, a group of condominium owners led by Tan Kung Ming, were Daphne Wong and Cynthia Chang of Chang and Wong Partners. The defendant, South-East Best, was represented by Ronny Cham of Ronny Cham and Co.

In a separate case in 2020, also involving Peak Vista Condominium, the Sessions Court found no evidence of misappropriation, dishonesty, or fraud in the handling of service fees funds by South-East Best. This ruling came in a suit filed by 12 owners of the condominium, as reported by Daily Express.

Tan expressed his hope for legal changes in the future to allow unit owners to establish committees with legal standing before subsidiary titles are issued. This would grant unit owners a voice in managing service fees funds and other management matters.

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