Tengah leads 23-member delegation to Brisbane

BRISBANE: The 23-member State delegation headed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan arrived in Brisbane early yesterday to continue their working visit to seek input and acquire some experience from several government authorities dealing with strata titles development on properties and strata title managements before coming up with draft of proposed amendment on the State Strata Title Ordinance.

Others in the delegation are Datuk Professor Dr. Sim Hui Kian, the Minister of Local Government and Housing; Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, the Assistant Minister for Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment; Dr. Annuar bin Rapa’ee, the Assistant Minister for Public Health and Housing; Dr. Wan Lizozman bin Wan Omar, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources; Bakrie Zaini, the Permanent Secretary of Local Government and Housing; Zaidi bin Haji Mahdi, Director of Lands and Survey Department; Mohammad Asman bin Ahmad, CEO of Sarawak Housing Development Corporation; Saferi bin Sli, Deputy State Attorney General and officers from various government ministries and agencies that are involved in development planning, approving various types of plans, the issuance of land titles and strata titles and managing strata developments. The State delegation made similar working visits to Singapore City two days ago and Hong Kong last March on the same mission.

The inputs and experience gathered from the authorities from Hong Kong, Singapore and Brisbane would be carefully studied and if found viable, they would be incorporated into the draft by the relevant agencies and departments.

When meeting with the city authorities in Brisbane, Awang Tengah said that the first Strata Titles Ordinance in Sarawak was enacted in 1974, and thereafter the current Strata Titles Ordinance was enacted in 1995. He also pointed out that as the complexity of development and demand increase, the current law is now inadequate to cope with the changing trends and needs. Furthermore, strata management in the State is not adequately covered.

As such, a review of the existing laws governing Strata title properties development in Sarawak has to be carried out accordingly, added Tengah.

DCM Datuk Amar Awang Tengah (3rd left) leading the delegates in their discussion with the Committee Members of Strata Community Association, inBrisbane.

He disclosed that the objectives of the study visit are firstly to study Australia’s legislations and practices in the registration and issuance of titles, and the management of various types of strata development – multi-storey, landed, and mixeduse schemes; and then it is to learn from Australia’s the approach in dealing with issues, disputes and tribunals in managing community living and management corporations, including that of public or affordable housing schemes; while thirdly it is to get a better understanding of related issues such as phased development or construction, flexibility of allowing design change or building plan amendments in approved strata schemes, share units and share value allocation, acquisition of strata properties, termination of strata schemes and others whereas lastly it is to benchmark our draft ordinances against best practices in other countries to ensure our proposals are adequate and practical.

Yesterday the delegates were given first-hand information and experience through visiting the Department of Justice and Attorney- General, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Strata Community Australia. The discussions with and interactions by the representatives of the agencies hosting their meetings offered useful information and inputs to the delegates to take home for consideration on strata laws.