Give property and facility management a priority during MCO 3.0 to prevent virus infection

Give property and facility management a priority during MCO 3.0 to prevent virus infection

Real estate experts are concerned that if property and facility management service is not given a priority during the Full Movement Control Order 3.0 (FMCO), it may lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases, especially in a strata property and high-rise housing developments.

Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) president Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin said owners and tenants of a strata property or high-rise housing developments are at high risk of being infected with the virus due to the number of people who live in one single building.

"Who will manage the building during FMCO? Everybody is worried! There are people under quarantine or positive in the building. Who will clean and disinfect public spaces? If something happens, none of the neighbours will come out and help. It is the management companies who will do everything. There will be major issues if they can't operate during FMCO," he told NST Property.

Adzman said there are more than 20,000 schemes and buildings, strata and non-strata across Malaysia and the majority of them are being managed either by property and facility management companies, Joint Management Bodies (JMB) and Management Corporations (MC), developer property management companies (PMC) and managing agents.

"Why is it so hard to get recognised? We need to know whether we can get the MCO letter to be issued to them so our team can follow all the standard operating procedures (SOP) and go down there and make sure all is in order. What is important is the risk is minimised," he said.

The government implemented FMCO from June 1, 2021, to June 14, 2021, and only essential services sector activities will be permitted to operate.

Adzman said although property and facility management services had been regarded as essential services by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, unfortunately, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has not included it under their latest list of essential services under FMCO 3.0.

He said it would appear that based on current restriction, unless property and facility management companies, JMB/MC, PMC, and managing agents are officially listed and recognised by MITI, it will not be possible to register with MITI to obtain approval.

"Until MITI recognises the importance of property and facility management service as essential services, the over 20,000 schemes and buildings in Malaysia will be without any management nor maintenance staff for almost two weeks effective June 1.

"All the lifts need to be maintained regularly. Further, with the high cases of dengue in some states, we need to properly and carefully maintain the pool area, playground, and other greens within the development. We need to also manage the security guards and cleaners so the buildings are safe and clean. When we overlook small things, it will lead to larger issues," he said.

Adzman said six property-related associations in Malaysia have jointly issued a memo on May 29, 2021, to the National Security Council (MKN) and MITI to include property and facility management service as one of the essential sectors under FMCO.

The six property associations are MIPFM, Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM), Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS), National House Buyers Association Malaysia (HBA), Muslim Real Estate Consultants Association (PEHAM) and Malaysian Institute of Professional Estate Agents and Consultants (MIPEAC).

"We need property and facility management service to run daily in order to manage the buildings and ensure all is good. Certainly, the government is not listening and the Rakyat is the one who suffers," Adzman said.

Source: nst.com.my

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