'Empower' JMBs/MCs and building managers during MCO

PETALING JAYA (April 14): There are still grey areas when it comes to property management services for stratified properties as the country enters into its third phase of the Covid-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) which has been extended until April 28. 

Property manager Henry Butcher Malaysia (Mont'Kiara) Sdn Bhd hopes that the government, for practicality's sake, would be able to empower Joint Management Bodies (JMB), Management Corporations (MC) or registered building managers to implement the details of the MCO enforcement in their respective properties as they see fit.

They can do so by working closely with the relevant authorities, as long as they uphold the social distancing SOPs set out by the Ministry of Health, he added. 

"For instance, there are pipe leakages and other maintenance issues that require urgent repairs. The issue here is, most contractors are not operating during the MCO. Hence, property managers face difficulties to tackle such issues," Henry Butcher Malaysia executive director Low Hon Keong told

"Another issue will be on the operation of property managers. As per the direction from the authorities, the working hours of property managers are from 8am to 5pm and only two personnel are allowed to report to work at any one time.

"To be practical, a certain number of personnel is required to maintain a project, which will depend on its size. Two personnel managing a large [strata property] is quite challenging. In relation to this issue, maintenance personnel must be on standby in case of emergency that occurs at night or over the weekend. Currently, these personnel are facing difficulty to report to work during emergencies which occur beyond the MCO working hours," Low added.

Nevertheless, he said that the government has provided clearer directions on the operation of most industries this time around.

"With regards to property management, all essential facilities such as lifts, solid waste disposal, water and electricity supply as well as security and cleaning services are still operating as usual.

"Our management offices are still operating at a very minimal level which means only two assigned staff at site at any one time to ensure that all essential facilities and services are operating at an optimum level. Since the management office is not made accessible by the public during this MCO, all feedback and enquiries are addressed via phone calls or online," explained Low, adding that swimming pools, multi-purpose halls, sport-related and other non-essential facilities are all closed until further notice.

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