Call to set up advisory board for commissioners of buildings

Theng: Advisory board will improve competency of COBs.

Selangor state government should empower commissioners of buildings (COBs) before considering amendments to Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA).

Strata Owners Association Malaysia (SOAM) president Datuk Theng Book told StarMetro that the state government must improve COBs’ competency by establishing an advisory board.

“The advisory board should consist of lawyers, surveyors, architects and city planners to provide professional advice for COBs in managing strata-related matters.

He also said that amendments to the SMA might not be necessary.

“Nevertheless, the state government must consult relevant stakeholders including SOAM before amending the Act.”

Meanwhile, SOAM secretary Kelvin Chong said the core problem was the reluctance of COBs to exercise their powers granted by SMA.

“One such power under Section 11 of the second schedule of SMA is that COBs can direct strata management bodies to hold meetings.

“We often receive complaints from strata owners that COBs tend to push problems to the Housing and Strata Management Tribunal, which will take at least six months to reach a judgment.

“The whole process could have been faster if COBs exercised their powers properly,” he said.

He urged Selangor housing and culture committee chairman Borhan Aman Shah to focus on improving the services of COBs first.

On June 17, StarMetro quoted Borhan as saying that a review of SMA was needed to ensure existing laws and regulations were relevant and effective.

He said the law needed to address emerging challenges faced by joint management bodies and management corporations.

Borhan’s personal assistant Muhammad Azimuddin Mohamed told StarMetro that Borhan’s statement was just a suggestion for the Housing and Local Government Ministry to improve the management of strata-related issues.

“In fact, resolving strata-related problems has been one of Borhan’s main focuses since he got into office.

“It must be acknowledged that the state government has always been the mediator among strata buyers, developers and COBs for any disputes they may have.”

He said Borhan’s office was going to set up a task force to discuss all strata- related complaints, including resolving pending cases involving strata title schemes in the state.

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