This website is


 Welcome    Main    Forum    FAQ    Useful Links    Sample Letters   Tribunal  

Debate continues on gated community

28/08/2004 The Star By K.W. MAK

MUCH has been said about the pros and cons of gated communities recently. Although some people view such neighbourhoods as “elitist” or a form of social apartheid, to some others, particularly those who can afford it, the rising crime rate has made it a necessity of sorts. 

Are gated communities a practice of separating or segregating groups and would their existence erode community ties? 

Mah Sing Group Bhd chief executive officer Lim Ching Choy said gated communities started out of concern for security which led residents in some neighbourhoods to engage security guards and deploy surveillance systems to deter crimes such as robberies and break-ins. 

“The number of houses in such communities are usually below 300 units to allow easy control of security and management,” said Lim. 

The tight security means that visitors may be delayed or even barred from entering the neighbourhood without proper identification and approval from the residents to be visited. 

Such measures to restrict access is the reason why gated communites are deemed elitist. 

The security post guarding the entrance and exit of a gated community in PJU 3/26 in Petaling Jaya.

However, Lim defended the concept, saying: “You have to look at the buyers of such homes and their needs. 

“Many of our customers are frequent travellers or parents who are at work most of the time and would like to provide a safe environment where their children can play without fear. 

“With much of their time spent elsewhere, it is only prudent for them to want extra security for their homes where their loved ones are.” 

As for social integration within the community, Lim said this could be easily arranged by engaging a good management company to organise social events for residents. 

But then this only increases the cost of living in these secured neighbourhoods. 

Even if they may not live in fear or crimes, resident of gated communites (like those in condominiums) face their share of problems when they don’t see eye to eye with the management of their estate. 

For the Crescent Court apartments in Brickfields, problems with management led to the breakdown of all six lifts, unpaid water bills and maintenance problems.  

Residents had to take matters into their own hands by ousting the previous management company to set things right. 

In most cases, some residents would accuse management of unsatisfactory services and withhold payment while the management would respond by halting all services until the defaulting residents pay up. 

“There is no legal framework with regards to gated communities or even condominiums,” said Lim.  

“Hence newer gated communities require buyers to sign a deed of mutual governance, which binds them to pay the maintenance cost while the management is required to be accountable for the maintenance.” 

Open communities on the other hand face the problem of crime and it doesn’t necessarily make these communities come any closer together. 

Many areas in southern Petaling Jaya do not have community voluntary bodies like Rukun Tetangga (RT) or residents’ association (RA) to organise activities to bring everyone together. 

Even communities with RT centres such as Section 17 and Section 14 face difficulty in uniting residents.  

In the case of the two areas, this is largely due to the fact that a segment of the residents are students and rent payers who don’t feel they are part of the community, making it difficult to mobilise a large section of the residents. 

To foster community spirit, residents need to volunteer their time and services to the community.  

While this can be difficult with working adults, there are success stories of communities coming together, like in Section 6, Kota Damansara, where low-cost apartments, middle-cost housing and bungalows are located side by side. 

The community is testament to what can be achieved through co-operation.  

Together, they have turned vacant plots into fruit orchards and organised kenduri events where most of the residents contributed in both cash and manpower. 

Other areas include Damansara Jaya (SS21), Section 4A and Bandar Sri Damansara where residents have formed their own RA and RT, respectively, to serve the community and be the voice of the residents when dealing with the local council. 

Taman Mayang Jaya RA chairman Liew Wei Beng felt that gated communities should not be encouraged, even though it had become a selling point for many property developers. 

“Just because the police don’t have enough manpower to patrol areas, this is not the way to solve the problem.  

“Gated communities don’t just isolate people, they create an unhealthy image that the people staying there are of a better class than those in open communities,” said Liew. 

“Open communities should be encouraged because you allow people to travel in and out without barriers, and it has always been that way. 

“There are no commercial areas in gated communities, depriving residents the benefit of doing their daily chores like buying groceries in the neighbourhood.  

“Residents don’t even get the chance to chat over coffee at nearby coffee shops 

“Without such goings-on in a neighbourhood, residents won’t even meet each other on the street. 

“Everyone will be doing their own thing. At a time when RAs and RTs are trying to get together with cross-border activities, gated communities will be left out because of their strict security,” said Liew. 


Main   Forum  FAQ  Useful Links  Sample Letters  Tribunal  

National House Buyers Association (HBA)

No, 31, Level 3, Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi, 55100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-21422225 | 012-3345 676 Fax: 03-22601803 Email:

© 2001-2009, National House Buyers Association of Malaysia. All Rights Reserved.