A statement of non-compliance

Residents should have received by now the bill from GCD for their provision of security and maintenance services to GC property owners/residents for the month of April 2015. Many residents will probably be surprised by the split between security and maintenance. In the case of a bungalow, the maintenance charge is RM214 per month (from memory of this bill)  while security is RM90 per month. I am told the camparative figures for a semi-detached unit are RM148 and RM90, respectively. The feeling on the ground is security performance is satisfactory while maintenance services suck. Thus the split performed by GCD will rankle quite a number of residents.

Another surprise to some residents will be the inclusion of the 6% GST (Government Says Thanks). I think there is little to be excited here because based on what I have read, the exemption from GST refers to properties under the Strata Title Act. For the avoidance of any doubt, Glenmarie Cove is not a gated and guarded community within the meaning of the Strata Title Act. Perhaps the government will have a rethink and all properties that are , in essence, a gated and guarded community shall be exempted from GST.

When I moved into GC in July 2011,  the split between security and maitenance was 50/50. Then, throughout the years 2012 and 2013, the bill came as a lump sum. The GCROA Committee decided that there must be more transparency from GCD (and there are some provisions in the Deed of Mutual Covenants (DMC) on the way GCD shall play ball) and the discussions between GCROA and GCD culminated in a budget which will be the basis for the new charges that came into force on Ist January, 2014. The budget was intended to be a living thing with regular reviews of the actual expenditure against the budget so that ups and downs can be adjusted as appropriate. Alas, GCD has not presented the Committee with a proper set of financials that can facilitate a proper review.

In the budget that I have mentioned above, the total monthly expenditure was RM103,000 with security accounting for RM53,000 of this total, or 51%. With more truncheon power added by GCD, the actual monthly bill is now around RM75,000, moving the security part to perhaps 65-70 percent of the total. Therefore rendering a bill which says security is a-third of the total and so far removed from reality makes no sense.

GCD warns that late payments shall incur interest under the terms in the DMC. By the same token, we need to remind GCD that under the DMC, every invoice for the charges shall be accompanied by a statement of how the money is to be spent. The budget and regular reviews thereafter would have met the provisions in the DMC. This new bill has just been sprung on the community without any consultation with the GCROA Committee. It is wholly outside the spirit of the DMC and breaks the consultative platform we have worked for. Not to mention how we were sunk last year.

In my humble opinion, as a truck driver, the April 2015 bill is not a proper invoice under the terms of the DMC and we should not pay it until the flaw is addressed.  There is also the “Withholding Payment” action called by the Committee at the behest of members of the GCROA in a general meeting. I shall wait for the dust to settle. Good luck to the Committee.

Johann Foo

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14 Responses to A statement of non-compliance

  1. mwee2014 says:

    So far, GCD does seem to be interested in engaging despite the threat of withholding the maintenance fees. Does GCROA have a Plan B? Also what happens when the regular payments stop and there are more defaulters on maintenance fees permanently as some may use this dispute as an excuse? Has this been thought through or should we just let the standoff run its course which may result in loss of security and maintenance? Do we really want this? Apologies but to me, there are many questions but few answers (unless you know better).

    • mwee2014 says:

      Correction first sentence – GCD does NOT seem to be interested…..

      • rlshawnie says:

        Yes, you are right. There are more questions than answer to the current state as it is. Questions that we raised, where answers from GCD are not forthcoming as it should, sadly.
        What do you do when a party to an agreement, and without consultation and/or discussion made an arbitrary decision to change/amend the fundamental/calculation/tabulation/core of that agreement?
        When the implication of the changes has a potential negative repercussion of the other party going forward.
        It was a dilemma having to adopt the course of action that was taken, knowing fully the consequence of these action carries the risk that you mentioned.
        On the flip-side, there is also the risk of further deteriorating of the services provided (which is looking more real by the day passed) and potential financial unfavourable obligations in the future if we just keep quiet about it.
        Yes, GCROA does have a plan B. This plan was mooted for quite a while now, it’s not simply a matter of wanting to do it, but should do when all other avenues failed.

  2. wkchoo says:

    GCD is bolder now, even with warning on stop payment by residents they did not seem to want to engage with us anymore. We should stay together strongly with this fight fellows residents!!

  3. boyscout2b says:

    In other words, I fully support GCROA in their call for residents to withhold their payments until we get some commitments from GCD.

  4. boyscout2b says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more that GCD’s maintenance services sucks. I had a pile of leaves and grass on the roadside by my driveway that was there since December 2014. My wife couldn’t stand it and finally swept it away a few days ago.
    If GCD is unable or unwilling to keep the roads and gutters free from leaves, at the least GCD should prune the trees regularly or else reduce the number of trees to mitigate the problem! (I see that a number of houses have already taken that step.)

    • rlshawnie says:

      Killing the trees are not the answer. All trees sheds. For some when the leaves cover the ground it’s too much, but for some even a few leaves is too much. To all their own, I say. As for me, I don’t mind paying more to keep the green lung than face the consequence without the trees. The problem is not the workers, rather the lack of supervision and widespread apathy within GCD key personnel. Things can turnaround, I strongly believe. It’s a matter of finding the right button to push. Soon I hope. We have great friends and neighbours among our midst, together we’ll find that button.

      • Roy, there is is this remark in your meeting with Ashraf Osman that GCD is contemplating the engagement of a contractor to handle the maintenance works now performed by a crew of 10 under their own employ. Reverting to past practice. The previous contractor supplied no more than 5 or 6 workers, so what is the rationale for the proposed plan? GCD lacks proper equipment to handle the work.

        • rlshawnie says:

          GCD’s rational was the inability of own workers to cope on coverage area, in responding I told GCD that it’s not the manpower but the obvious lack of supervision and proper scheduling. Equipments needed for current level of maintenance as it stands are adequate to do the job. Realistic budget and availability of fund (control by HQ, I am told) contributes to the smooth functioning of the maintenance.
          A good example on lack of supervision: A Saturday (today), these workers are left to their own devices and initiatives (if any) to work without any supervision at all. Reason being the person in charge works 5 days week. At time of writing (it’s 2 pm now) the workers are nowhere in sight. I just came back making the round in our community. It’s past lunchtime and not yet tea break, so you guess.
          With this mindset, put in another 10 workers will not be enough. Instead you can get quite a lively party going with 20.

    • Er, boyscout, where did your wife sweep the leaves to? Just asking, hahaha.

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