Thursday, January 18, 2007

Meda Complex Building given Certificate Of Fitness when not fully completed!

"Anonymous" sent in this contribution in my comments box:

"I used to work for Meda Complex, infact I was one of the pioneer staff that open the shopping complex....(some comments removed to maintain confidentiality of the person)...Seriously, the stories that I am reading now are not new and even during those times circa-1997, they were facing a crisis. Rumours were heard that they even had to take an off-shore loan to stay afloat and the architect was forced to certify that the construction for the Complex was completed (when it was only 90%) to avoid late delivery to purchasers."

Notice the word forced.

I think this is the Meda Inc Bhd way of doing things. I think that if the authorities want to carry out an inspection of their buildings, Meda Inc Bhd will arrange for some "bonus" for the inspectors and everything will be taken care of. That's what they also do with licences and approvals for their shopping complex and hotel operations.

So, you should be careful if you are thinking of buying any of Meda Inc Bhd's condominium or shopping units, such as the Cova Villa, or One Subang, or even Semantan Suites. You won't know whether they have fulfilled all building and construction laws, unless you are an expert yourself.

If you look closely at their Semantan Avenue Suites, the 2 blocks sit on a very tiny plot of land. At the back is a very steep hillslope. I wonder whether the walls behind is strong enough to withstand 2 weeks of continuous rain. Already, large parts of Johor is under water and KL has seen some aweful landslides.

We must not forget the Highland Towers disaster. Developers with a shakey track record and bad reputation should be avoided at all costs, no matter how cheap their apartments or shops are. All it takes is a combination of factors happening all at the same time, and your home will crumble and the lives of your loved ones lost forever. By then, the developer would have enjoyed all the profits and it's too late for you to go after them.

Why did the architect give in to pressure from Meda Inc Bhd to certify the Complex building when it was not ready yet? Was it because the owners offered the architect more money to certify it? Was it because the owners promised payment on time? Did the architect fail to fulfil their professional duty?

Below are our court's findings regarding the guilty parties in the Highland Towers collapse:

The following were the findings on liability by the Court:

The First Defendant was liable in negligence for not engaging a qualified architect,constructing insufficient and inadequate terraces, retaining walls and drains on the hillslope which could reasonably have been foreseen to have caused the collapse diverting the East Stream from its natural course and failing to ensure the pipe culvert diversion was adequate, and in nuisance for not maintaining drains and retaining walls.

The Second Defendant (Architect) was liable in negligence for not having ensured adequate drainage and retaining walls were built on the hillslope adjacent to the Highland Towers site, which he foresaw or ought to have foreseen would pose a danger to the buildings he was in charge of, in not complying with the requirements of the authorities in respect of drainage, in colluding with the First Defendant and Third Defendant (the Engineer) to obtain a Certificate of Fitness without fulfilling the conditions imposed by the Fourth Defendant (the Local Authority), in so doing not complying with his duties as Architect, and in not investigating the terracing of the hillslopes and construction of retaining walls even though he was aware they would affect the buildings he was in charge of, and also in nuisance as he was an unreasonable user of land.

The Third Defendant (Engineer) was liable in negligence for not having taken into account the hill or slope behind the Towers, not having designed and constructed a foundation to accommodate the lateral loads of a landslide or alternatively to have ensured that the adjacent hillslope was stable, for not having implemented that approved drainage scheme, for colluding with the First and Second Defendants to obtain a Certificate of Fitness without fulfilling theconditions imposed by the Fourth Defendant and also in nuisance as he was an unreasonable user of land.

The Fourth Defendant (Local Authority) although negligent in respect of its duties associated with building. i.e. in respect of approval of building plans, to ensure implementation of the approved drainage system during construction, and in the issue of the Certificate of Fitness, was nonetheless conferred immunity by reason of s95(2) of the Street, Drainage and Building Act.The Fourth Defendant was however not immune in respect of its negligence in carrying out its post building functions of maintaining the East Stream. This also attracted liability in nuisance.

The Fifth Defendant (Arab-Malaysian Finance Bhd) was liable in negligence in failing to maintain the drains on its land, and in taking measures to restore stability on its land after the collapse.

The Seventh Defendant (Metrolux Properties) and its Project Manager, the Eighth Defendant, who were liable in negligence and nuisance for preventing water from flowing downhill (into their site) and instead directing water into the East Stream, when they knew or ought to have known that this would increase the volume of water and inject silt, especially where there was extensive clearing on their land, into the East Stream where it would be deposited, which would in turn (as proved) cause or contribute to the failure of the drainage system and collapse of Block 1.

If you're interested you can read more about it here

Why developers put people's lives at risk?Simple. To make more profits for themselves, to cut costs. Just look at the quality of Meda Inc Bhd's properties and you'll know that they have been cutting costs at all four corners.

(Cova Villa, Subang One are developed under Pharma Exel Sdn Bhd, which is part of Andaman Group Sdn Bhd, which is owned by the Meda Inc Bhd people. They don't want to pay their suppliers, but use suppliers' money for other projects. As mentioned in my previous posts, I think they are using Meda funds to finance their Andaman Group projects, with the intention to go for public listing on the Bursa. They know their Meda name is not well-received by share investors. I believe it is illegal to use public-subscription funds for projects that are not under the public-listed company.)

Architects can be manipulated to certify completion when it's not fully completed. Engineers can collude with the owners to do less construction work to save costs. Even local authorities can be paid to tutup mata. Who can you trust when you fork out MR200,000 for your investment?

Check the developer yourself. Do your calculations. Ask around. Check their previous property developments and see the (poor) quality. It will save you a lot of pain later.

Thank you, "anonymous" for your info. Does anyone else know anything more about this matter?