Message to Residents: Get involved! by Joe Ramayah

Dear Fellow GC Residents,

I am Joe Ramayah. I live with my family at Precinct1. Been here for 5 years and loving it. It’s the place my wife Stella, our 3 daughters, 2 sons in law and 2 grandchildren call home.

Yesterday I was invited by some of our GC resident committee members to meet with them as they met with the GC management, to discuss about some pending issues. Because we have been living here for quite awhile, we’ve come to fondly know quite a few of you. I received some worrying development lately at GC, so I wanted to have a say.

I clearly but surely informed the management that the reason why we bought into this housing area, was it was promoted as a “Resort Style Living” possibly the first of it’s kind in the country.
I realize that when some residents intended to have a party, wedding, etc they asked by management to pay a certain amount. I made it very clear to the management that such an act is illegal as it is not in any contract at all. This was backed up by the committee fully. Apparently this was brought up before.

We do not need their permission to use any area of GC as as we are and should be liable if there are any damages caused because of our patties. The management replied ” It DID NOT say you must pay AND it DID SAY that you don’t have to pay” to which we replied, “We will not pay since it does not say we have to.”

 I believe we should care for our neighborhood to ensure we clean up etc. We should INFORM them of our parties and of course it is not illegal or anything of that nature. But why were some of the residents asked to pay? Where is that constituted? I only came to know this when a few people informed me.

Last year in July, our 2 nd daughter had her wedding at the jetty by the river. We had over 400 guests. The management assisted us to perfection and adding boat rides for our guests, manicured the trees, cut the grass, fixed up all the wiring for the event, coming early in the morning to prop up the decos because the night before there was a storm – and all for FREE!
Security were at hand, guests were treated with dignity and respect by staff member of GC.
As a fellow resident I am appalled that some of these “bullying tactics” have been allayed against our residents. We have a common slogan here at GC – ENJOY.

Well i believe we made sure it was dealt with thoroughly yesterday at the meeting.

I write to you dear friends, not to dramatize or create a fiasco but that everyone of us as residents have a part to play and not just the committee. We all have a voice and our least complaints are equally important as our biggest complaints.
Please let us stand together and not cower in fear if you are asked to do this and that when you shouldn’t have to.
This is our home, we are Malaysians, we are GC residents, we have our right to enjoy.
Why did we pay for maintenance then?
So as your neighbour let’s stand our ground.

The other issue was the raising of the maintenance and security fee. Why? What improvements have there been? 3 homes have already had break ins (or attempted to). Where is our clubhouse we were promised? Etc.?
There were many issues that the committee too had brought up. Hopefully we will see some improvement soon, hopefully.

Pleas don’t view this email as anti-management as it is not about “us” against them.
It is simply the right to enjoy our environment.

I Apologize if I have offended anyone. This is my 5 cents worth.

We don’t need a title or a position to speak to a friend, a neighbour or a committee member and to the management. Just don’t be silent. All our frustrations are valid. Don’t be alone.
 I hope I didn’t sound “preachy” .
I am just as anxious for our home as anyone of you are.

Thank you your time and patience in reading this.

Once again, thank you.

Joe and Stella Ramayah.

Administrator’s Note:

The above email from Joe Ramayah was received today and it is reproduced in its entirety with his permission.

The message is clear – remove thy shyness and speak up for the greater good of the community.

You will read in Joe’s email, there are already drum beats for an increment to the maintenance and security charges that we pay every 6 months (which some folks simply default at will!). I hear through the grapevine amounts of RM400 and 500, for semi-Ds and bungalows, respectively, being tossed around. However please wait for the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September, 2011 between the Committee and the GCD Management before you oil your blunderbusses! I hope the minutes will be released soon to keep residents fully informed. When available it will be posted as a Page with the link at the top of the homepage.

Let us  hear from you too.

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10 Responses to Message to Residents: Get involved! by Joe Ramayah

  1. Nicky,

    Earlier your figure was 12hrs x RM8/hr x 30.5 days, hence RM2928. Now you mention RM2000. Is this the correct figure?

    Surely competitive bidding ought to tell us whether we are being robbed blindly. For example, what does PRISM charge for an hour?

    It is all too tempting to think it is far cheaper to employ our own guards. There is a lot more to think about. For starters the organization that employs the guards needs to be licensed by a certain ministry before it can bring in the guards. That entails a lot of paper work and red tape and you would have to hire admin staff to handle the daily affairs. Perhaps the GCROA is allowed to stand in as the vehicle but is this wise?

    Secondly, the organization would need to provide housing and transportation and before long all the ‘savings’ will be eroded and replaced by a lot of hassle. I’m not sure that is the right approach.

  2. yfyin says:

    From the guard’s pay info provided by Johan or Nicki, 12hours x RM8/hr x 30.5days = RM 2,928.00/month seems to be very high for a foreign guard from Nepal. Some local manager only earns about Rm3,000 a month.
    I have spoken to some guards some time last year, I was informed by them that they take home a pay of RM 1,200 a month and not 3K.
    I am sure everyone agrees that RM 2,928.00/per month pay is not what the Nepal guard is getting.
    In the Taman I stayed last time, a foreign guard was only paid about RM900/month.
    Did GC management take half the pay of these guards for their own profit.?

    • Yin,

      The information you mentioned was provided by Nicky.

      Anyway, I think RM8/hr is the rate charged by the security service provider to GCD (us). The difference between what a guard actually receives and the RM2928 is essentially the margin the security company makes to cover its own expenditure and profit. I’d say a take home pay of RM1200 is more realistic given that the guards work a 12-hr shift and some element of these 12 hrs must be treated as overtime. I suspect RM8 per hr is at or near the industry price level and a pertinent question left is whether the residents are getting value for money. Are we?

      I hope Nicky will clarify.

    • nickyteh says:

      Yin, i agree with you on the exorbitant rate charged to us. In fact, GCD has been over employing d guards resulting in many of them sleeping on d job. We only need a total of 10 guards 1 supervisor per shift to man all 4 precincts. Right now there are more than a dozen and most times we don’t even see them day or night. Also, for d security company to charge and receive RM2000 /guard/month is daylight robbery. We could get one of our residents who specializes in bringing in Nepalese guards to supply guards to us directly whilst getting all the necessary n proper paperwork done.

  3. Johann says:

    Comments sent in by Nicky Teh via iphone (so please bear with the abbreviations used):

    It’s long overdue that GCD should buck up, sit up and listen to d residents. Their cry for an increase in fee should be turned down. Why? D fact and figures speak for themselves. Here goes:

    P1-P4 total 842 units x RM90 = RM75,780.
    Only 10 guards n 1 supervisor per shift n 1 security manager are required.
    10+1=11 guards x 2 shifts x 12 hrs/shift x $8/hr x 30.5 days/mth = $64,416 + security manager wages $7,000 = $71,416. Balance of $4,364/month can be used for spares parts n maintenance of boom gates etc.

    At present P1&2 residents are made to pay the fees. I feel whoever owns d Land in P3&4 (in this case it’s Either GCD or comtrac or new owners) should also be made to pay n share the cost for the common areas. For more detailed explanation on d above, I’ll be glad to share with everyone if there’s a meeting or get together arranged.

    Don’t be suckered into paying fir something that’s adequate n under utilised.

    Nicky

  4. yfyin says:

    Latest problem in phase 2 , water supply pressure for the houses in phase 2 became like pea size, ever since they connected the piping near the phase 2 barrier last week, I could hardly use the hose to flush anything at all.
    The developer should make sure that water pressure is enough before connecting to a new area.

  5. yfyin says:

    With more new residents moving into GC, RM 90.00/month on security should be sufficient, My sister-inlaw who is staying in one of the areas in Bukit Tinggi 2 with about 200 houses collect only RM 80.00/month on security and they can have extra saving every year to hold dinners for the residents.
    More should be concentrated on where the money goes to.How many residents in total and how much are paid to the guards?. I would like to know about this as a paying residents, I am sure everyone wants to know.
    The security system is really not up to what we have paid for. 2 years ago, there were hardly any break-down on the tag system but for the past few months, there are failures to open the bars every day on both barriers.
    The guards posted there are like doing a jokey’s job, opening the barrier for almost every cars.
    As DRB hicom is still selling houses for phase 2 , 3 and 4 , the company should do the major contribution on the security for the existing system since they are depending on the existing residents to help them sell their houses, and they are profitting on every house they sell. A profit oriented company.
    For the things they promises before since 2007 , already 5 years had past, there should be no reason for not building the club house, I personally felt that they are just delaying this until they finish selling and cabut. The club house should be built before they start selling houses and not residents staying for 4 years and still asking about when it will be built.

  6. boyscout2b says:

    Hello. My name is Paul and my family are in Precint 2 (Damar Bayu). I missed the inaugural meeting of the GCROA (completely slipped my mind!). This is my 2 cents. (1) GCD should go collect all outstanding arrears before considering increasing maintenance/security fees. I used to pay RM100/month security fees at Taman Desa, Old Klang Road, so I think a minor increase is OK, considering the Govt has already fixed a (higher) minimum wage for security guards. But as a retiree I hope that GCD will look at other avenues first. (2) On another matter, I want to throw this issue out to GCROA and GCD – what is your role in the many seemingly “illegal” renovations/extensions that I see sprouting in Precint 2 (not sure about Precint 1). For eample, there ia a house on Bayu 4 that is building a 3 storey extension all the way to the fence! This can’t be legal, right!? As I understand it, the building needs a 20 feet setback from the main road! I suppose that GCD will forfeit the requisite RM10K renovation bond, but does its responsibility ends there? If owners can act with such impunity, why do we even need GCD’s prior approval and the renovation bond? (Maybe GCROA can open a separate thread for this discussion)

    • Johann says:

      Paul,

      I agree a small increase would not upset too many people. As I look back, GCD is billing us the same amount it did a few years ago. I’ve often wondered how on earth the company can do that (I’ve never seen a budget that stands still for years) but since there is no increase (which is a good thing, right?) and the amount is fairly reasonable, I’ve always put it down to an increasing base of residents to share the costs or there had been a huge buffer built into the figures in the first place. All this could change, of course.

      I understand the arrears are a few hundred thousand ringgit and they do not seem to be doing much to claw at these arrears. Some individual debts could be quite high by now. Litigation is costly and time consuming but if nothing is done others may climb onto the freebie wagon. If GCD aren’t suing the current defaulters, then it is unlikely they will take action when the number of delinquents double in size. When that happens what will happen to this community?

      In respect of the renovation works on the house you referred to in your comments, you have asked a very interesting question. Speaking as a resident of this community, I would like to see the GCROA be fully supportive of GCD’s role in ensuring that the actions by purchasers when renovating their properties are in line with the provisions in the Deed of Mutual Covenants, like getting MPK’s and GCD’s approvals. It can’t be any other way!

      To my knowledge, the GCROA has no effective clout when a purchaser flouts any of the rules. The only party that can handle the purchaser is GCD and the mere fact that the works are going on suggests that GCD cannot do much about it or does not wish to act. For example, when I did my renovations, Security personnel constantly reminded my contractor to change the hoarding material when it gets torn, failing which he and his crew will not be allowed through the gate. I deem that as a reasonable policy so we complied.

      I will bring this post and our comments to Ben Yeoh’s attention and we will just have to wait for his comments, if he wishes to respond. You would think the last thing GCD wants is for this case to attain poster child status.

  7. Johann says:

    it DID NOT say have to pay and DID NOT say don’t have to pay”

    It surely sounds funny, silly even.

    The Deed of Mutual Covenants is mum on the issue of charging residents for the use of facilities within GC. But I think there are circumstances in which a charge is fair. If it is, say, a wedding function and there are hordes of people and GCD is, say, providing free boat trips to the guests, I do not think the wedding couple or their parents would mind if they are charged for the cost of fuel or the extra guards needed to control the crowd. It should not be an attempt by GCD to make hay while the sun shines. And who gets the benefit of the income from the function? Should it go into the coffers of GCD or should the income be used to offset the maintenance costs, given that residents are in effect paying for the upkeep of the premises.

    What we need is greater transparency, especially now that there is pressure to increase the maintenance and security charges.

    I hope both GCD and the Committee will resolve this need for transparency as soon as possible. In this regard, the next post will deal with suggested questions over the Deed of Mutual Covenants and I hope residents will also put forward their questions so it can be forwarded to the management. There are other things in GC we need to worry about and not just how long or short the grass should be and how many times it needs to be watered daily.

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