Archive for the ‘Ethics, Morality and Patriotism’ Category

Flats, condos and apartments

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

There are three clearly defined periods of management for the maintenance of high-rise properties in Malaysia.

IN earlier times, people lived in wooden houses with attap roofs. As time went by, concrete and brick structures constituted progress. These were all properties fixed to the land.

Then accommodation which was built upwards came into existence. Flats or apartments, and condominiums, are also referred to as compartmentalised units or parcels. Owners are issued Strata Titles.

All these units have a common feature. These are common property facilities which someone has to manage.

In return, service charges have to be paid. In this connection, words like Joint Management Body and Management Corporation are used. A reader asks why and how these bodies come about.

Once a property is completed, the role of the developer comes to an end, although obligations to rectify defective works continue as provided for in the sale and purchase agreement.

While the owner of each parcel will naturally be expected to look after his own parcel, there is a need to provide for the proper management and maintenance of the building and the common property. In this connection, the provision of proper maintenance by the management falls into three periods of time.

Immediately after possession is handed over, it becomes the duty of the developer. It is referred to as the developer’s management period. Both under the contract and under the law, the developer and buyer assume concurrent obligation.

Thus the developer has the right to collect service charges according to the allocated share unit of the parcel owner. This will be for maintenance and management, and also for the sinking fund. The developer, during this period, is entitled to use this money for the purpose for which it is paid.

The developer must open a maintenance account in respect of each development, and all monies received must be paid into the account. Importantly, it is not only the purchaser who is required to pay the charges into this maintenance account: the developer must also pay in respect of the unsold units. Such money does not belong to the developer but is money held in trust for the owners of all the units as a whole.

The current applicable Strata Management Act came into force in all states in Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territories on June 1, 2015, except for Penang, which came into force on June 12, 2015. Sabah and Sarawak have their own legislation, similar in spirit.

Within 12 months of delivery of vacant possession, a Joint Management Body comes into existence. It is, by law, a body corporate. It is the duty of the developer to convene the first AGM of the owners of the parcels.

The attendees will decide on the number of members of the Joint Management Committee. The rest of the agenda will be to deal with matters relating to the management and maintenance of the building, including other concerns relating to the common property.

The developer is required to hand over to the Joint Management Body all documents used for and during the construction of the building and also relating to the parties that they have been dealing with during the management period.

Before the developer management period expires, the developer must also transfer all money and hand over the Administration Office to the Joint Management Body.

The duties and powers of the Joint Management Body are essentially to properly maintain and manage the building, which relates to the common property, as responsibility for an individual unit rests in the individual owner.

While at the first Annual General Meeting, the Joint Management Committee will be elected, it is very often the case that the Committee may find it difficult to carry out the process of managing the building itself, even though it could employ the necessary personnel and make the necessary purchases.

Therefore it is empowered to employ or arrange and secure the services of any person or agent to undertake the maintenance and management of the common property of the building. The Joint Management Body may make by-laws with regards to the use of the building but otherwise fairly detailed provisions exist in the Act.

The Joint Management Body, too, must open and maintain a maintenance account with a bank or financial institution and, as in the case of the maintenance account during the developer’s management period, all charges collected must be paid into this account, while expenses paid out will also come from this account.

The position here, in terms of the management and maintenance, is no different from what takes place during the developer maintenance period, except that there is now involvement by the parcel owners.

In the meantime, activities relating to the issue of strata titles will be going on under the Strata Titles Act 1985. This will lead to the opening of a Strata Title Register in respect of the building by the Registrar of Titles.

When this happens, a Management Corporation consisting of all parcel proprietors will come into existence as a body corporate, which may sue and be sued in its own name. The Joint Management Body must hand over all that it has received from the Developer, as well as whatever it has acquired during its term, to the Management Corporation.

The Developer must, for this purpose, convene the first Annual General Meeting of the Management Corporation within one month after the expiry of the Joint Management Body period. When the Management Committee has been elected, it will carry on the role that has been played by the Joint Management Body.

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Kaamatan Carnival in Tambunan April 25-30

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Thomas (seated centre) with his coordinating committee members of the State-level Kaamatan Festival launching.

TAMBUNAN: The Kaamatan Carnival will be held from April 25-30 at Pisompuruan Square here in conjunction with the launch of the State-level Kaamatan Festival.

District Officer Thomas Logijin on Wednesday said the carnival was decided and agreed upon by all  the coordinating committee members during a meeting held at the District Office recently.

“The carnival activities will begin on April 25 with the Traditional Food and Cookery Festival and Sepakat Negaraku 1Malaysia Community Program in the evening.

“On April 26 is the Traditional Sports and Piboian Moboros do KadazanDusun competition followed by the tug of war, Sugandoi final competition and Huminodunn night on April 27,” he said.

Thomas, who is also co-chairman of the coordinating committee of the launching of the State-level Kaamatan Festival, said the Tambunan Volleyball final competition and Tambunan sepak takraw final competition will be held on April 28.

He said on April 29 there would be Sumazau and gong beating competitions and Kaamatan Theater performance and on April 30 is the Tambunan Kaamatan Charity Run 2017 event.

Thomas said the launching ceremony on May 1 would witness a variety of events, including exhibition of agricultural products and sale of crafts, exhibition of Tambunan district old pictures, tourism fair, Unduk Ngadau competition, cultural, choir, somporing and singing performances.

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Christians observe Good Friday

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Some of the attendees of the Good Friday Service at All Saints Cathedral.

KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of Christians attended the Bahasa Malaysia Good Friday Service at All Saints Cathedral here yesterday.

The sermon entitled ‘Berita Jumaat Agung’ (The News of Good Friday) was delivered by Reverend Hillary Lalis.

Good Friday is the day where Christians all over the world commemorate the passion, suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

It is observed on Friday before Easter Sunday, the day where Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

All Saints Cathedral is one of the biggest churches of the Anglican denomination in Sabah.

Christians who are interested in attending the Easter Sunday celebration at All Saints Cathedral may go for the 7.30am (English and Bahasa Malaysia Service), 9.30am (Chinese Service), 10am (English Sevice) or 11.30am (Bahasa Malaysia Service).

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Rural folks have low crime awareness – Razarudin

Friday, April 14th, 2017


Mahamad Akhir (centre) presenting mock keys to Razarudin as Dingka (left) looks on.

KOTA KINABALU: Rural folks in general have low crime awareness, said Deputy Police Commissioner, Datuk Razarudin Husain.

According to him, it is prevalent in rural areas where the people leave their houses and vehicles unlocked.

“Fear of crime in Sabah is low where we can see people in places like Kudat and Keningau sometimes leave their vehicles without winding up the windows and unlocked because they think that it would not get stolen.

“They don’t even lock their houses, and this is a problem. Therefore, we need to raise their awareness and understanding on crime so they will be more careful,” he told a press conference after receiving 39 motorbikes for the state police contingent at the contingent’s headquarters in Kepayan here yesterday.

Razarudin added that the motorbikes, 11 of which will be given to the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department will help the police to increase crime awareness among the people.

Thanking Bukit Aman for the motorbikes, he said that the 28 units received by the Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department would further strengthen the department particularly reaching an accident site, and other duties.

Meanwhile, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director, Datuk Mahamad Akhir Darus said that priority in motorbike allocation was given to Sabah and Sarawak police contingents as both lack assets for traffic laws enforcement.

He said that the Kawasaki 250 motorbikes are good enough to be used in the cops’ traffic enforcement duties as well as in responding to traffic mishaps.


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Players, Officials Involved In Match-Fixing To Be Banned For Life – FAM President

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU, April 8 (Bernama) — Football players and officials involved in match-fixing will be banned for life from all football activities, said Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim today.

He said the decision was part of the new FAM executive committee’s goal to tackle corruption issues within the country’s football sphere.

“We (FAM) can do the best we can by working with the authorities, whether it is the police or the MACC (Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission) to tackle hooliganism, match-fixing, and so on.

“For now, the disciplinary committee, integrity committee and all disciplinary boards have to be very firm because I have zero tolerance when it comes to corruption,” he said.

He said this to reporters after chairing FAM’s first executive committee meeting for the 2017-2021 term here.

The Tunku Makhota of Johor also said FAM has given MACC full access to football associations and clubs as well as FAM to conduct thorough investigation, which will assist FAM in combatting corruption in football.

He also said fans of teams involved in hooliganism during a match will also cost the teams points, rather than a fine as punishment for failing to control their supporters.

He explained that a fine imposed on the associations or clubs could not compensate for the pain that the affected teams had to endure and their fans should also bear the responsibility of their actions.

“Therefore, there will be point deduction so that fans know that when they create a ruckus, the victims will be their team and not association or club members,” he said.

On the appointment of a national coach, Tunku Ismail said he will meet several foreign coaches soon and expects to name someone to fill the position in a matter of weeks to come.


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The importance of legality principle

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

THE legality principle is captured in the Latin phrasenullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege, which, roughly translated, means “no crime nor punishment without law”. The Islamic criminal theory states a similar concept, la jarimah wa la uqubah illa bil nas. The principle derived from the phrase is that the law must be enacted before it can be enforceable.

In the legal discipline, the fundamental principles or legal maxims or in Arabic, the qawaid fiqhiyyah, form a reference and guidance in most theories. Most legal maxims in various legal systems are founded upon rules of natural justice and legal norms. In Islamic law, most maxims have their origin in the fundamental sources of Islamic law, such as the Quran and Sunnah.

The objective of the legality principle is mainly to protect individuals’ freedom and security, negate and prevent abuse of power, and thus avoid giving wide discretionary power to the authority.

From a historical point of view, the objective of the non-retrospective law is to avoid arbitrary infliction or to “pick on” a “disfavoured group” in society.

The maxim mentioned above has two fundamental principles: (1) One should not be charged, convicted and punished for an act not prescribed by law as an offence at the time of its commission, and (2) A criminal act will only be punished with the punishment which exists at the time of its commission.

One should not be punished with a greater punishment than the punishment prescribed by law at the time of the commission of the crime.

The principle of non-retroactivity underlines the principle that there must be no crime and no punishment except in accordance with fixed and predetermined law.

The legality principle has some important corollaries to the duty of the legislator and the judiciary. The legislature is obliged to legislate criminal law prospectively (that is, for cases which arise after the law is enacted) and to make the law specific and unambiguous. It is incumbent on the judiciary to strictly construe criminal provisions and exercise limited judicial creativity in the interpretation of criminal law penalising a certain act.

In addition, all legislation must be publicised in order to give the public fair warning, which is an essential principle in the administration of justice. This is due to the nature of the principle that individuals should be warned that a certain act is criminalised or punishable by law.

In terms of criminal law, although norms and values of society are sources of the creation of crimes, it does not mean that society or the courts and the prosecutors are free to decide by themselves on crimes through political legitimacy.

Any action or inaction of a person shall only become enforceable as crime once it is legalised or once the act is made a crime through the legislative process. That is to say, there shall always be a legal process in order for an act or inaction to become a crime.

This fundamental concept is very clear in the Malaysian legal system, whereby the sources of law are the statutes. If an offence is not stated in the form of statute, or law passed by any competent legislature, then no act can become a crime. It follows, therefore, no prosecution can be made.

All courts in Malaysia shall have the power to hear matters that are found under a written law. Written law means, law which has been passed by legislatures.

The power of judges in the Syariah courts is similar to the power of the judges in the Civil Courts in the context of application of the law. All judges cannot take the law into their own hands and convict a person guilty for any act without having a law. Similarly, all prosecutors, in the Syariah or Civil Courts, can only prosecute, or bring a person to court, based on a law that has been passed by the rightful legislature. The rightful legislature is the legislature that has the power to make the law, which is sometime referred to as the “competent legislature”.

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Sultan Nazrin laments over-commercialisation of nature tourism.

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
Sultan Nazrin delivering his speech during the opening ceremony at the Perak state assembly in Ipoh. Also present is Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim. SAIFUL BAHRI/The Star

Sultan Nazrin delivering his speech during the opening ceremony at the Perak state assembly in Ipoh. Also present is Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim. SAIFUL BAHRI/The Star

IPOH: The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, has expressed concern that nature tourism activities are being damaged by over-commercialisation.

Citing the example of the state park in Pulau Sembilan, which is famous for the bioluminescent phytoplankton, he said the beauty of the place is under threat by irresponsible operators who fail to respect the rules and restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Therefore, he said the state government decided to officially close the island to visitors until stricter rules are drafted to protect the ecosystem and bio-diversity in the area.

“The same goes for the Ubudiah mosque in Kuala Kangsar, which is listed as among the top five most beautiful and fabulous mosques in the world. Its authenticity must be protected as part of heritage.

“The mosque must not be altered in the name of expansion that would destroy its beauty,” Sultan Nazrin said when opening the fifth session of the 13th Perak State Legislative Assembly at the state secretariat building.

He said that development must be balanced between the needs of the people and the environment.

“Schools are the best institutions to instil awareness to cherish, and conserve the environment,” he added.

Sultan Nazrin also said that an average of 33,000 tonnes of solid waste is disposed daily, accumulating to some 12,000,000 tonne a year.

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Suhakam: Parliament has to ‘own’ human rights in Malaysia.

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Seemingly ignored for the 16th consecutive year by the august house that established it, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is calling on Parliament to “own” the human rights issue.

“This is the 16th consecutive year that Suhakam has not had its annual report debated by Parliament,” its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail (pix) said in the commission’s 2016 report.

“As one of the primary institutions of the state, Parliament has a joint responsibility to protect and fulfil human rights and to implement the country’s obligations, alongside the executive and judicial branches of government,” he said.

Suhakam has been submitting its annual report to Parliament since 2002, as required under the Human Rights Act 1999. None of its reports has been debated in Parliament.

Razali said Parliament must take ownership of protecting the fundamental rights of the people, adding that there is a growing international consensus around the importance of the role of the legislative branch in upholding human rights.

However, Parliament has not held open discussions or responded to recommendations by national human rights institutions, he said.

Razali cited Suhakam’s detailed observations on the Nov 19, 2016 Bersih rally that it had sent to the Speaker of Parliament as an example.

According to its latest report, Suhakam received 879 complaints on human rights violations nationwide last year, a 23% spike from 2015.

The complaints covered issues such as the right to citizenship, native customary land rights, the right to seek asylum and refugee status, arbitrary arrests, detention and exile.

It received 80 complaints by orang asli alleging the continued encroachment of their native customary land for logging, mining and farming purposes.

These came in the wake of the blockade and standoff between the orang asli and logging companies in Kelantan.

Razali expressed his disappointment at Parliament’s lack of action despite its assurance that 17 out of the 18 recommendations in Suhakam’s National Inquiry into the Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples had been accepted.

He said there are still “contentious human rights issues that cannot be addressed by Suhakam alone without the political will and full support of policy makers and members of legislature at both the federal and state levels”.

Razali said he hopes that the Government and Parliament will see Suhakam as an ally in the endeavours to promote and uphold human rights standards in the country.

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Ex-judge: Those guilty of corruption should be jailed.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah said those found guilty of corruption should be jailed instead of being fined a paltry amount compared to the vast sums of money gained from the crime.

He also slammed judges who mete out sentences in corruption cases which are not commensurate with the crime committed.

“What has happened to our judges?

“Corruption cases involving money end up being punished with fines, and the amount is such that the criminal can still profit after being fined. True or not?” Mohd Noor asked.

The former judge, who is a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB), said he wants to remind judges that corruption cases often involve lots of money.

“But in some cases which go to court … What is the punishment?

“A fine. How much is the fine? It’s nowhere near the amount of money lost because of corruption.

“The sentence is sometimes not commensurate with the offence.

“So, send them (those found guilty of corruption) to prison, then we can say you are contributing to justice,” he said.


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Lessons on leadership

Sunday, March 26th, 2017
Dr Yap (on stage) speaking on leadership to a packed audience at the university.

Dr Yap (on stage) speaking on leadership to a packed audience at the university.

TO be an effective and credible leader, one must hold on to the values of integrity, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap to a packed room of 300 students at City University, Petaling Jaya.

Dr Yap was speaking at the varsity’s eighth Distinguished Speakers Series where she presented a talk tittled “Leadership in Practice: D.E.F.F.R.A.C”.

The speakers series started in 2015 and is aimed at encouraging the students and staff of the varsity to interact with the outside world.

Dr Yap said: “A leader is a person who has integrity and the two important attributes of being a leader of integrity is sincerity and honesty.”

She shared that as a school principal, she allowed her teachers and staff to give critical comments on her leadership.

“If I were to advise or comment on my teachers’ or staff behaviour, why can’t they comment or advise me?

“Listening is very important,” she said, adding that there are different levels of leadership and that students must not think of leaders as those holding top positions.

On DEFFRAAC, Dr Yap said it is important to delegate work among one another.

However, it is not useful if a person merely delegates without empowering the other.

“When you empower, it means you are instilling the element of trust in your team members.

Dr Yap said the double “F” in DEFFRAAC is crucial.

“Most institutions fail because they miss the follow up and follow through.

“As a leader, you have to follow up and follow through,” she said.

Speaking passionately, Dr Yap said reflection is an important practice whereby one has to find lessons learnt upon participating in an activity.

“Reflecting without follow up action is not going to be useful.

“You have to act to find solutions to address the weaknesses that you have identified,” she said, adding that an effective leader needs to have effective communication.

She said students are the future of the country and commended City University for exposing its students to such talks.

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