Better late than never

You should have received a letter by hand from GCD (dated 25 March, 2013) informing residents that MPK has taken over garbage collection, cleaning of roads and drains, collection of domestic landscape garbage, old furniture and household items with effect from 1 August, 2012 – eight (8) months after the event!

What gives? All residents are aware of MPK’s role by now. So is this about the information in the last paragraph of the letter?

The GCROA performed better I’d say.

We notified residents about the handover of the services to MPK  in our blog post MPK takes over services on 30 July, 2012 and again  on 17 August, 2012 following some digging by our street representative, the late Padmanathan. As mentioned in the beginning of the update, Pat was frustrated by the lack of response from GCD so he went to MPK to get the information he wanted. That trip wasn’t necessary because GCD had all the pertinent information by 23 July, 2012 (refer to the MPK letter attached to your mail) but there never was a real desire by the management to interact with the residents, until now perhaps after we had been kicking a lot of ass and given their HQ people something to think about. It’s better late than never, I suppose. It is also, for me,  refreshing  to be addressed as a ‘valued resident’ and not thought of as the resident PIN for GCD & Co.

A couple of interesting snippets from this rare GCD communication.

The letter from GCD ends by mentioning that “notwithstanding the above [the stuff MPK has taken over] we are still maintaining the landscaping at the common areas and have engaged a contractor to carry out regular maintenance…”. What is the intent of this paragraph, I wonder. If you think this conveys the message that GCD is magnanimous, giving residents more bang for their bucks, then please think again.

Until these common areas are taken over by MPK, they remain the baby of GCD pursuant to the Deed of Mutual Covenants. Period.  And they are entitled to charge residents for this, of course. So please do not think you are getting a free lunch.

Is GCD well remunerated for their maintenance services? We can only guess. There should be  savings for GCD from August 2012 with the takeover of services by MPK. There will be  more savings if GCD can get MPK to take the common areas sooner.

There never was any transparency in the charges tossed at residents. We hear a lot of gibberish, like GCD is subsidizing the residents but no useful and factual information have been provided to support this. Recently, GCD’s solicitor had responded to some residents (who are pursued over unpaid charges) who had demanded to know how the amount charged by GCD should be split between security services and maintenance services and for details of the maintenance services. The answer: 50-50 (don’t fix it if it ain’t broken, eh?). So, I’ll use this answer provided by the solicitor, knowing he can do no more than regurgitate what his client tells him.

The monthly charges for bungalow units and semi-Ds are RM230 and RM180, respectively. This means RM115 or RM90 for maintenance services. Let us assume a median of RM105 per unit. How many units are we talking about? 343 (before the new units in Precinct 2 that have been completed recently). This number is found in the subject line of the MPK and GCD letters.

Thus, maintenance revenue for GCD is 343 x RM105 = RM36,015

damaged light p2 jtOther than grass cutting, there is the jetty to maintain, the swimming pool and the gym as well. Some of you are probably shouting that the pool and gym sucks and the broken lights at the P2 jetty have not been replaced. There are of course salaries for the maintenance office, office expenses, excetera, excetera. We don’t have the details so we can only equate: 36k and we have the common areas cut once a month? See update below.

I dare say with RM36,000 per month the GCROA can manage to hire one manager, two clerical staff and a gang of 5 workers plus rent for office space.  They’ll work 5 1/2 –  6 days a week to upkeep the common areas and supplement the MPK areas as well.

Update

Based on information obtained by GCROA Secretary Jeff Harris, we understand that the contractor hired by GCD will cover the river front from Lagoon One to Lagoon Three, the pathways next to these lagoons, the play areas and Jalan Damar, from the [capsized] boathouse to Precinct two entrance. They have a rotating schedule and each area should be swept twice a week. Sounds wonderful. We’ll see. if they can keep this schedule.

It is clear all the kicking is paying dividends. What more can I say? Kick some more so the change in mentality is firmly set.

I’ve seen these workers:

P1060483

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12 Responses to Better late than never

  1. Just received a copy of this letter from a P2 property owner to GCD:

    “The Management
    Glenmarie Cove Development Sdn Bhd

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am writing this letter because the other night I almost fell over a piece of wood at an unlit stretch along the river.

    The solar powered lamps along the river and lagoon have not been working for many months and I have not seen any effort being undertaken by you to correct this situation. I consider lighting in these areas most essential for safety and security. This is as such being compromised by you.

    Under present circumstances I am contemplating to stop paying for maintenance unless
    a) you give me an assurance in writing that the lighting alongside the river and the lagoon will be restored
    b) you give me a time frame up the when this is going to happen

    The lack of maintenance also includes the lagoon where there is no exchange of water from the river. The sluice gate has not been working for many months as well. The lagoon water is infested with algae! Whereas the new lagoon in the next precinct is working perfectly you have totally neglected the proper functioning of the lagoon in precinct 2.”

    (Name withheld)

  2. tonywee says:

    On security and maintenance charges:
    When we moved into P1 in 2007, everything was hunky dory. The residents were friendly and cooperative and we had regular get-togethers. The security system was impressive, coming in and out (including the senangin jetty) was by computerized sensor cards … all ins and outs were recorded. The sensors along the riverfront worked, the video cams too, and the common areas well maintained. After 3 years, sadly, all went downhill ….. the failure of the security equipment were blamed on the supplier and the lack of spare parts which, we were told, had to come from Germany.

    As for the billing method, GCD started with separate monthly billings …. rm 90.00 for security and another rm 90.00 for maintenance (for Semi Ds). After a few months, its was one invoice for Rm 180.00 to cover 90.00 for maintenance and 90.00 for security. Then we were invoiced for Rm 540.00 once every quarter, but the security and maintenance portion were spelled out. Since the 3rd. quarter of 2012 however, we were invoiced Rm 540.00 for maintenance and security, without a breakdown…… and I’m wondering whether its to pull the wool over our eyes, since by August 2012 the bulk of the maintenance had been taken over by MPK…. we should therefore, be billed rm 270 / 270 instead of 540.00 together for “security n maintenance”. I just can’t understand why GCD management cannot come clean and have a dialogue with residents to arrive at a justifiable and reasonable charge, esp. for security services.

    Btw, the DMC we signed had the clause referred to by Boyscout2B.

    • I’m aware the DMC signed by P1 property owners has the clause referred to by boyscout2b. GCD simply took out the sentence highlighted by boyscout so that purchasers like me were left with just what I have described in my copy.

      Under the Deed, the security charges are determined by GCD in their absolute discretion. There is no check and balance but if they charge a sum that is absurd many residents will not pay. Besides the number of guards, the rate per hour can be compared with services elsewhere and the number of households can be determined and thus the charge can be estimated with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Other*relevant *costs or portions thereof incurred by GCD for the management of security services can also be ascertained and agreed upon. And there will be an element of profit for GCD as well, which is fair. A service managed by the GCROA will not have such a profit element.

      The quibble we will have is in respect of maintenance services, especially after the takeover of the services in the precincts by MPK.

      The GCROA will be writing to GCD to point out the fact that their billing does not conform with the requirements in the Deed. GCD is required to ‘show and tell’. And it is not an onerous or difficult task as it is just a listing of the budgeted expenditure and how certain costs are to be shared between the residents and the GCD. For example, how is the contact sum for the common areas to be shared between residents and the developer since there are certain parts that ought not be carried by residents. And surely GCD must have an annual budget you’d think.

      So what is the difficulty if there is a competent COO?

      On Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM, Glenmarie Cove Residents and Owners Associati

  3. lionelsharon says:

    Save my breath. Speechless.

  4. boyscout2b says:

    Actually if you read (my copy of) the DMC para 3 (Maintenance of Services), it says
    “..Every written notice to the Purchaser requesting for the payment of such contribution from the Vendor shall be supported by a statement issued by the Vendor which shall include a list and description of the services provided, the expenditure incurred and the amount of such contribution due to the vendor in respect thereof”. I have not seen this list! And we should press GCD for this.
    Therefore until such time GCD actually show us their (actual) expenses incurred, the determination and apportionment of what our “contribution” to a “fair and justifiable proportion of the cost and expense of such services” should be, is really pie in the sky! Since MPK has practically taken over all maintenance in P1 and P2 from August 2012, this really leaves only the maintenance of the jetty, boardwalk, playgrounds, river/lagoon reserves (?) and the new clubhouse. Unless proven otherwise, I believe all the land and structures (crooked launch ramp, swimming pool, GCD offices, carparks, stores, clubhouse and guardhouses) across from P1 lagoon belongs to GCD and is GCD’s sole responsibility!.
    I am OK to pay more for maintenance but we need to know how our money is being spent!

    • Indeed you are correct and that is why I had advised those who were served with the letter of demand by GCD’s solicitor to ask for this information and any court action by GCD could be hindered by the fact it has failed to comply with the requirements of Clause 3.

      I suggest that you point out this clause and demand for the information or you won’t hand over the money, heh.

      You must have purchased your property prior to October, 2007 because the DMC I entered into does not have the wording you gave. Instead the language in mine is heavily skewed in favor of GCD. Mine says “…until such services are taken over by the Appropriate Authority, the Purchaser shall contribute from time to time a fair and justifiable proportion of the cost and expense of such services, such apportionment to be made by a quantity surveyor, architect or engineer appointed by the vendor or any competent person appointed by the vendor….”. No independent verification is required and GCD could ask it’s own accountant to sign on the dotted line if need be but that does not stop me or others with a similar clause to demand for the statement. The accountant cannot sign the apportionment statement in his head. There must be a paper but I wouldn’t hold my breadth that they have ever produced statements of apportionment signed by someone of their choosing. Perhaps it is time we all start to demand this statement of apportionment with effect from 1 April, 2013. Then we will know what we want to know.

      Even though the clause in my DMC is akin to asking a fox to guard the chicken coop, do not be worried because experienced people and chartered accountants are around to spot bullshit.

      On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Glenmarie Cove Residents and Owners Associati

  5. yfyin says:

    Your calculation on their profit from our maintenance charges collected is very accurate. No wonder Ben is not fired even when he did not perform most of the Major defective areas in GC, it is because he is making extra profit for the company from collection of residents’ maintenance charges.
    When GCROA is trying to hold any events in Seri Santai, they are all denied but our Maintenance charges are actually used to maintain the Landscape for Seri Santai area to do business(Selling their houses). At least a third of the Guards are used to guard the Seri Santai office as well.

  6. santok1950 says:

    When a resident complained about the state of the grounds in Glenmarie Cove since MPK took over the answer given by management that now that GCD no longer maintain the grounds it is up to individual owners to complain to MPK. For gods sake how long does it take one individual in the office to raise a complaint about this on behalf of the GC resident instead of over 300 people ringing MPK to report issues. Just shows the mentality of the people at GCD

    Can anybody tell me if the equipment in the GYm is in good working order. I complained about this for more then a year and gave up, and now have a (donated) thread-mill at home. How can it take so long to repair simple equipment in the gym ????????

  7. Gary says:

    Something that is simple and yet took Ben Yeoh 8 months to do. Taking that as a yard stick to all things that we bring up to the management of GCD. If the COO is like that, I would also expect that his staff under him are worse. So imagine if we brought up issues about the maintenance and security and the equipment, it would take decades to be addressed (starting with an official letter). And mind you, we have been complaining and have first hand experience of just how slow things take to be addressed under the administration of Ben Yeoh. BUT when it comes to collecting money and suing people…. aisay this one no need to worry… our friend, brother Ben Yeoh is on top of things.

    So all said…. i think that if the current GCROA committee was so fast at informing the community even before the take over by MPK and can be so transparent about the calculations (which anyone can do), Then I say GCROA is fit to take over management because you can expect the same efficiency. And I would readily pay up the due maintenance and security (willingly and religiously).

    • Yo, not so fast about the accuracy of the simple arithmetic I gave. I used the 50:50 split between security and maintenance because this is what GCD’s solicitor declared in the reply to the residents concerned. This has been the ratio since the beginning of time in GC and GCD is sticking to the formula even though the ground conditions have changed. GCD operates under the impression they do not have to account to the residents and Ben Yeoh is not the first COO of GCD to operate like this. His predecessors were sama sama juga. He is merely continuing the tradition. If residents are not asking why wake them?

      If GCD is presently losing money, I can believe them. Why the charges have remained constant over the years, only GCD knows. If HQ can take the financial losses, why rock the boat and face the ridicule that their performance does not warrant the hike?

      If residents take care of the maintenance, we do not have the kind and level of overheads GCD carries. Ours will be a quite simple. We need to worry about big ticket stuff like who repairs the jetty if part of it collapses or the roof over the new club house collapses, God forbid. There is no sinking fund. So who pays? Whoever owns it, I guess.

      On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Glenmarie Cove Residents and Owners Associati

      • Gary says:

        Fully agree that there are considerations and that we should thread carefully when taking over Glenmarie Cove. Complex as it may be I’m willing to take this path because, a management by the residents for the residents is far better than any other arrangement, and without a doubt better than the current management.

        • Yin,

          No lah. Revenue does not equal profit because there are expenses to take care of. The net position cannot be rosy and if Ben claims there is a net loss at the end of the day, I can believe that.

          In essence we are all between a rock and a hard place. There is not enough money so maintenance suffers. Lights at P2 boardwalk are still kaput, for example. And the boat ramp is still crooked. The perimeter concrete wall is just a patch up job when cracks appear and the heavy vehicles that ply Jalan Telok Gong keeps shaking the foundation. One day the wall may have to be replaced. GCD dare not ask for an increase because of the potential ridicule they will receive and the bad debts then look worse. Name a COO who likes to trudge to HQ every month to look at increasing levels of outstanding receivables. Life can be hard at the top. So, maintenance suffers. Then there are residents who have never paid a dime and those who are not paying for various reasons. Maintenance also suffers. HQ needs to appoint a person who can think through all the issues and come up with viable solutions for the sake of the residents and for GCD. Divide and rule is not a solution. We can be patient. Getting an appointment with PM Malaysia may be easier than meeting up with someone who makes sense from their HQ.

          On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Glenmarie Cove Residents and Owners Associati

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