Pay your bill, if you must

This post is brought on by this comment by boyscout2B:

I am currently waiting for a collective action to be initiated by GCROA whether to withhold payment for the 4th Qtr’s maintenance fees. Our fearless leader (Johann lah) seems to be shy over this matter. Over to you Johann. Can we have a collective decision?

I can answer the question now, after the committee meeting last evening,  and boyscout2b and some others will not be happy to learn that the Committee is generally not in favor of collective action to withhold payment for the 4th quarter. Instead the Committee would urge members to look ahead towards taking over the maintenance and security in GC under the umbrella of the GCROA. The Committee feels that is the best way forward for residents. If you disagree let us hear from you.

Many residents I’ve talked have asked  whether there should be a reduction in the amount charged. That is understandable because we have lost the services of the gardening contractor epitomized by the tall thin Chinaman (Ah Ping). The truth is (and I have said this before), the amount that GCD collects from residents just about covers the payment to  the company that provides the guards. In essence we are not overpaying and the past arrangement was possible because all other costs were being absorbed by GCD. The charges in GCD have thus been somewhat lower than in other comparable  gated and guarded communities. This can be verified if you take the trouble to find out.

Having said that, I am also in agreement with those of you who believe we are not getting value for money. For example, at the main guardhouse we can can still residents using the left hand lane meant for visitors. Likewise visitors are using the right lane because that is so convenient for the driver to hand back the placard. Perisiaran Damar is prone to flooding when it rains because the drains are clogged with leaves. P2 boardwalk remans poorly lit at night.  So if anyone feels that he/she will not pay until things get better,  I can understand that. I even join you in that regard. So I hope boyscout2b can see I am by no means shy.

The GCROA has been granted verbal approval (waiting for the hard copy!) by the Registrar of Societies Malaysia  to set up a company that will be registered under the Companies Act (i.e. a Sendirian Berhad). I have been told we are the first RA allowed to do such a thing and it will help us save some hefty management fees that the GCROA (in other words all the residents) will have to pay if an outside management company were to be hired.

The company will be wholly owned by the GCROA and its purpose is to manage the security and maintenance aspects of this community. Its board of directors shall include members of the Committee (perhaps 3) and non-Committee members (perhaps 2) whom you may nominate to give a cross spectrum of representation.

Please note that this does not mean we will definitely go ahead with this proposal because getting the ROS approval only means we can now take it to the next level of discussion with GCD where there a quite a number of nuts and bolts to be sorted out. When things are finalized and the financial implications are known, all members will be provided with information so you can vote on the matter. It will not happen unless it is approved by the members in general meeting.

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6 Responses to Pay your bill, if you must

  1. boyscout2b says:

    Errr… is the pool, gym, jetty, Sri Santai part of common property? I don’t think so. The reason GCD maintain these (minimally at least) is to showcase these facilities to sell their remaining phases of GC.

    • There is no denying that residents derive a benefit from using these facilities whether they are common property or not. I believe the majority of residents do not mind paying. The state of maintenance is the only valid gripe anyone can have.

      Like I suggested earlier, imagine the maintenance is not worth a dime. So you are left with RM180(or RM230)for security. I have no problem with the quantitative aspect. But I do on the quality side.

      One fine day, GCD will have sold everything and they leave the jetty behind. Who pays for the maintenance then?

  2. boyscout2b says:

    The fact of the matter is that GCD is still billing us for “maintenance”. The fact that the fee is insufficient is a matter for GCD to raise with GCROA and the residents. Therefore, GCD should coordinate with MPK to jointly maintain the grounds, I was expecting the service levels to be higher (or at least maintained at the previous level). Or has GCD washed their hands completely? As it is, I would rather pay a little more to have a higher level of service for this “premier” riverfront community where things are falling apart. I hope that GCROA will set up the management company asap to takeover the maintenance.
    Also, maybe you can highlight the thinking behind why a sdn bhd company, and not an association. Is the company just a RM2 shell vehicle to interface with vendors (eg. gardeners/security/etc). Or do we all need to be shareholders?

    • I don’t think the inclusion of “maintenance’ in the bill is erroneous or absurd. There is more to it than just the greenery. For what it’s worth, GCD still maintains the swimming pool in Seri Santai, even though there are regular complaints about greenish water caused by breakdowns in pool equipment. They still do some maintenance in the gym, although there are complaints about damaged equipment, non-working aircon. Ooooh, the smell! I don’t see much maintenance at the jetty but every now and then the floodlight goes kaput and someone has to do something.

      Even if all the above is not worth a dime, is the amount billed justified in terms of the security services? The answer is yes if you go strictly by the number of guards used and the hourly charges being paid. But is the quality of service acceptable? Guards doing the rounds on bicycles or motorbikes are just trying to complete their rounds. They do not look left or right. I am sure there are many anecdotes.

      As you should know, GCD has handed over the maintenance of the grounds in P1 and P2 to JKR and thus your rubbish is being collected 2/4/6. Other services like cutting of grass verges and collecting the stuff from your garden is done twice a month, which many folks feel are simply not good enough. Supplementing JKR’s services is something the management company will need to consider and meeting your desire to pay more for a higher level of service is a done deal. I just hope other residents will think like you.

      No, you do not need to be a shareholder in the management company. I have clearly stated in the post the company will be wholly (100%) owned by GCROA. One of the advantages of having a ‘sendirian berhad’ is the concept of limited liability; the liability of the GCROA is limited to the amount of the paid up capital of the company. Thus if the paid up capital is RM2 (we’ll probably be more classy than that), the liability of the GCROA to creditors is limited to RM2, the amount paid for the shares and not a dime more.

      One fine day the management company may need to sue someone for not paying their bills and this person counter sues the company for loss of sleep or embarrassment, etc, etc. If he wins a million ringgit because of an idiotic judge, he may get to carry away the chairs and computers of the MC but he cannot touch the GCROA. If we do not have the company and the deal is done directly with the association, I am not sure whether this crazy person can be stopped going all the way and sue the Committee members and all the members.

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