Helping strata property owners stand up for their rights in court

Chong handing his book on self-representation in court to Rodziah (second from left). With them are Theng Book (left), Prof Dr Abu Bakar Ibrahim (middle) and a moderator.

AFTER representing himself in various legal cases, property manager Kelvin Chong realised there were not many publicly available guides on self-representation in court.

Hence, he decided to write a book titled How to DIY in Tribunal & Court to share his experience and insight on self-representation.

“Being represented by a lawyer can be expensive so I decided to represent myself in court.

“I studied the Strata Management Act 2013 (Act 757) to improve my understanding of legal proceedings and argument while in court.

“I have been involved in about 25 court cases from tribunal court to Court of Appeal,” he said during the book launch at e.City Hotel, One City, Subang Jaya.

Chong, who is also the Strata Owners Association Malaysia’s (SOAM) secretary, said his book provides tips to defendants on how to defend themselves in a tribunal or court.

“I also hope the Commissioner of Building (COB) will look into some of the complaints raised by residents which are detailed in the book instead of driving residents to tribunals or civil courts,” he said.

“Among the common issues raised are the joint management body or management committee not holding their annual general meeting, no audited account, misuse of management funds and unit owners not paying their maintenance fees.”

SOAM chairman Datuk Theng Book, who was also present during the launch, urged the government to form a taskforce to study and update the Strata Management Act 2013.

“In Kuala Lumpur alone, 70% of the population of two million people live in strata properties,” Theng Book said.

According to the National Housing Department, this number will increase year by year.

“However, the COB lacks enforcement power under the Act when it comes to strata issues.

“I hope that a task force can be formed by the government consisting of architects and those in related professions to advise the COB on various matters,” he said.

State housing, urban wellbeing and entrepreneur development committee chairman Rodziah Ismail, who attended the book launch, gave credit to Chong for his resilience in pursuing the issues.

“I will take SOAM as a strategic partner to solve the many strata problems in Selangor.

“They can be the body that advocates for the public and advises the government on various matters pertaining to strata management,” she said.

The Ampang MP also wants to identify the loopholes in Act 757 and review the law.

“This is my intention during my first term in Parliament,” she said.

Priced at RM50, the book can be purchased at Shopee online, SOAM Facebook or via Whatsapp (019-839 9031).

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