Sarawak govt to table Bill to amend Strata Titles Ordinance

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg looks at models of high-rise buildings during the Sarawak Property Expo in Kuching September 20, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg looks at models of high-rise buildings during the Sarawak Property Expo in Kuching September 20, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Sept 20 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said the state government will table a Bill to amend the Strata Titles Ordinance 1995 in the next session of the State Legislative Assembly.

“With that, my hope is that the ordinance will be able to streamline the issues that we are facing, especially when we have high-rise buildings and also the management of old buildings,” he said during the opening of a three-day Sarawak Property Expo at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

He said last year he had directed state Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and state Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources to establish a special lab to discuss issues that might have hindered the development of real estate in Sarawak.

“This lab was asked to look into how to assist the developers, and at the same time, to make sure that the cost of building houses is mitigated and to meet the market which at present is quite soft,” he said.

“As a result, one of the issues that we are looking into is the Strata Titles Ordinance,” he said, adding that a list of proposals by the lab has been submitted to the state government for consideration.

He said the amendments to the Strata Titles Ordinance will be tabled at the state assembly during the November session after the proposals have been approved by the state Cabinet.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHEDA) president Christopher Ngui, in his speech earlier, said the association had suggested to the state government that it should not use the Strata Management Act (SMA) of peninsula Malaysia as a reference to draft the proposed amendments to the state strata ordinance.

He said SMA has many weaknesses and shortfalls and that building policies applicable to peninsula Malaysia may not be suitable for Sarawak.

Ngui said SHEDA is also concerned with the dependency of the building industry on foreign labourers in Sarawak.

He said this explains why it is seeking to collaborate with local institutions of higher learning, such as University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and the Sarawak campus of Swinburne University of Technology to venture into research and development of sustainable building and construction technology and upskilling the local labour force through short technical courses and vocational training.

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