RM1.75mil to rebuild retaining wall

  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 30 May 2019

(From left) MBPJ engineering director Ismail Shafie, Jamaliah, Syed and Wan Nazura (right) with a resident poring over the project plan for the repair work.

PETALING Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is forking out RM1.75mil to help rebuild a retention wall that collapsed last year at Apartment Permai in PJU 3.

This puts an end to an ongoing dispute between the apartment’s Joint Management Body (JMB) and an insurance company over who should pay for the wall repair.

The 110m-long wall, which collapsed in May 2018, helped to stabilise the soil structure of the 10-storey low-to-medium cost apartment. There are 320 residential units and 20 commercial units in the apartment block, which was completed in 2003.

The collapsed wall is situated between Apartment Permai and Apartment Bayu Permai, which is only 30m away.

Pangsapuri Permai JMB chairman Syed Abdul Rahman said he was thankful to the city council for agreeing to help the residents by footing the cost of rebuilding the wall.

“The cost of the repairs is too high and the JMB cannot afford it,” he said, adding that the wall began to crack two years ago.

Bandar Utama MP Jamaliah Jamaluddin, who was present at a press conference at the apartment, said the repair work was crucial as it concerned the building’s structural integrity.

“This repair work is necessary not only for residents in Apartment Permai but also for the residents in Apartment Bayu Permai,” she said.

Persada Mutlak Sdn Bhd has been selected as the contractor. Its project manager Mohd Suhaidi Abdullah, who was also at the press conference, said work to rebuild the wall would start on June 12 and set for completion by Nov 27.

The area where the retaining wall collapsed has been covered with plastic sheets to prevent soil run-off after heavy rain.
The area where the retaining wall collapsed has been covered with plastic sheets to prevent soil run-off after heavy rain. 

The JMB had been at loggerheads with the building’s insurer over who should bear the cost of the wall repairs.

Apartment Permai JMB treasurer Wan Nazura Wan Mahmud said the JMB paid RM17,000 premium annually to insure the building.

“We were promised that we would be insured up to RM21mil in the event of an environmental disaster but our claim was denied,” she said, adding that the insurance company did not send a consultant to review the area prior to agreeing to provide coverage.

“Our claim was denied on the grounds that the developer did not build the retention wall according to the standard specifications,” Wan Nazura said.

It was understood the JMB was told by the developer that the original plan for the building was in MBPJ’s possession.

“However, we were informed by MBPJ that the original plan was disposed of after 10 years,” she said.

“Between the insurance company’s intransigence about the specifications and the developer and MBPJ’s inability to provide the documents to prove otherwise, we were stuck,” she added.

A housing lawyer Chong Foo Sian, when contacted, said property buyers were entitled to a defect liability period of only 24 months, after which any defect must be borne by the JMB.

“Buyers may inform the developer of any defect within this period so they can carry out rectification work,” he said.

A local resident, who declined to be named, however, expressed unhappiness over the law.

“If the defect is related to lamp posts or the playground, it makes sense for the JMB to bear the repair cost. However, it does not make sense for JMB to bear the cost if the defect is structural, which should be under the developer,” he said.

Parking woesThe collapsed retaining wall is not the only issue plaguing the residents of Apartment Permai. There is also a severe lack of parking space, with only 190 bays for the 320 units.

As a result, residents have to double-park their cars when they come home from work.

Rosni Abdul Kadir said many residents were forced to park their vehicles along the main road outside the apartment compound.

“We do not have any choice but to park there due to lack of parking space,” she said.

“However, officers from MBPJ sometimes patrol the area and issue fines,” she said.

“There should be at least 320 parking bays, one for each residential unit. That is not taking into account households with more than one car,” she said.

She hoped the authorities would be more sympathetic to the residents and their parking woes, adding that she herself was once fined RM100 for parking on the roadside.

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