"Gated/Guarded" Community; An opinion piece from our neighbors in USJ

tigermania's picture

Dear All,
In an earlier post I had mentioned that we at Puchong Hartamas should be glad we have more than most other communities (Supplementary Agreement, guard house, perimeter wall/fence, etc) when setting up a "guarded/gated" community. It is up to us to optimize our advantage and be cohesive.
Below is an opinion piece extracted from the USJ Community portal and written by Datuk Samson who I think lives in Puchong Puteri. Former PHRA Chairman, Charles Vander Slott introduced me to him a few months back. Incidentally, Datuk Samson's advice then was to "engage" Raymond Tan of FDSB directly.
Please read and appreciate what Puchong Hartamas already has in place. We are definitely better off...for now.
From: SJAlert@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SJAlert@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Triform Subang Jaya
Sent: Wednesday, 08 April, 2009 5:44 PM
To: SJAlert@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Gated and Guarded Community

This is my 2 cents worth on GnG.

I am a proponent of this system having organized quite a few myself and personally seen a drastic drop in the crime rate in the areas it has been formed and implemented correctly, this off course being subjective as what is correct.

You can start off the right way or the wrong way. The list of do’s and don’t,s is very wide but let me try and breach some of it in the few minutes I have to spare. I am not an expert and I am sure more will join in with the necessary advice. 

To begin with 
1. Call for a meeting among the residents of the area. Do this by way of flyers notifying the date , time and venue and get an attendance list prepared where those present will list their name IC, house address. You will want more house owners than tenants. On the reverse of the flyers list down the crimes and what has happened within your immediate neighborhood, Apathy is an evil. The usual is it did not happen to me, don’t care not my problem, why should we pay etc etc but when they notice what is happening within their doorsteps, you should have a good turnout. Reach out to all in the neighbourhood and don’t make it an exclusive group.

2. Local government is not interested in your problem as it contravenes the Streets and Drainage Act. Local Council will look the other way until it receives a complaint, which there will be quite a few from those not paying, don’t be disheartened.The Local Council requires you to get approval of 75 to 90% approval of residents within the area, if you are going to put up barriers etc and this must be submitted to the MPSJ with the covering letters etc. This will still be illegal at the end of the day but “acceptable” and you most probably will not receive a reply from them, so ensure you have a duplicate copy stamped by them acknowledging receipt of your letter and documents.

3. The police will encourage you as it means less work when there is less crime. They can not endorse you but they will normally support you as a RA when those uncooperative residents go and make reports. I always show the errant ones to the nearest Balai. Join your area Community Policing Scheme, check it out with the Balai. Get emails from the residents and start your own neighbourhood Googlegroup to communicate.

4. When you hire Security guards the going rate is now from RM 3.80 to RM 7.00 depending on the quality of guards and their nationality. This the police are interested to know as Security Companies must be vetted by the Police or your guards might turn out to be your robbers. You must notify the police of this and keep a record. It will come in handy.

5. You must ensure an RA is organized from your 1st meeting, even if it is a Protem Committee. The ROS office is in Shah Alam, Wisma MBSA. Pay them a visit beforehand and get the necessary forms to form the Residents Association. Remember to get a standard Constitution from them. Use this Constitution with barest minimum changes to submit your Committee application. This way you get the fastest approval and then you amend the Constitution to your requirements. In the meantime you can open your bank account with it. If you amend now you will be bogged down with delay after delay so do it later.

6. Remember the RA can collect money to facilitate Security facilities for your neighbourhood, but you cannot force anyone to pay no matter how good a job you think you are doing, and you also can not bar those not paying from entry to the area etc. This is set to change as there are some new guidelines pending in Parliament. Talk about that if and when it happens. (Puchong Hartamas has a security services supplementary agreement in place)


8. On the day you intend to hold your first meeting, consider also registering a RT simultaneously. The RT office is on the third floor of the IC Office side OF THE BUILDING in Wisma Persekutuan, Jalan Sultan, Petaling Jaya. The RT empowers you more as far as security is concerned, and you will also get a yearly Grant of RM 4800.00 to maintain it. It is vital you ensure that the RA and RT Committee is one and the same to avoid duplication and unnecessary aggravation. You can also get funds for Community activities from the RT which is under Jabatan Perpaduan. You don’t have to do Patrols to qualify or you can if you want. That’s the new RT.

9. Ok now lets assume you got through the first round of hurdles. Now lets go to the second part. You must be committed, firm but flexible and have a core team appointed during the meeting to assist you. The core team must be Road reps from the various road with a minimum of 2 from each road to form your security committee within the RA or you will not be able to reach out and will be over extended. The drop out rate is also big as the initial enthusiasm wears out when the work begins to manifest itself, that normal human behaviour.

10. When vetting to sign up a Security Company get a Security Operations Manual done. These companies will promise you heaven and hell. Go to sites where they are and monitor yourself privately. Spell out the Do’s and Donts between you and the Security provider in the Operations Manual and it should be comprehensive to cover all aspects including the guards discipline. If you don’t have one call Mr Jeswant singh and request for one 012-3955575. He is a RA Chairman and a pretty efficient one. He made a detailed one.

11. Now the difficult part. Autogate or Manual Boom Bar or nothing. Here I wont advise you but remember you are looking after your neighborhood security and not running an Army Camp. Your flexibility comes here and your difficulties also start here. Resident who are your contributors will initially give you the most problems. You must request them to notify their parents, brothers, sisters in-laws and friends etc that you have employed security personnel to protect your homes, family and property. Everyone expects the guards to know who their relatives etc are and this will develop into contentious issues when the guards stop them. Send out newsletters to the whole neighbourhood notify them of commencement and pitfalls to avoid. Request their cooperation during the startup.

12. Develop a plan of action. Car stickers etc. There is so much to talk and do here. Remember you are trying to provide security and promote unity not divide and rule. Residents will be a little slow to come around but gradually they will do so if you can efficiently run your RA and local security with proper Communication, transparency, perseverance and understanding. You will have a happy and peaceful neighborhood as gradually the residents get used to the system. 14 days should be about it but it will all depend on you and the Committee. 

13. There are about 20 points but I am stopping at fifteen. If you hold your first meeting correctly from the beginning, you will have not have much issues when you implement. There will always be someone out to challenge you but if you have the support of the majority Min 70% you should be moving in the right direction. Visit a few areas and study the situation. Security Guards is no Guarantee. The residents must all know their neighbours in front, on the sides and even the back. You must stress this or they will come for you whenever there is a problem. Swecurity gurds are just a deterrent. The take up collection must also be at best minimal. Do you maths. It is always easier to reduce then to ask for an increase.

14. My neighbourhood had a 100% crime free period of 5 years until just recently when 2 cars were stolen from the same house at 3 am. There was a breach and lax in our security which has since been rectified. This is where you must explain to the residents, if everyone comes to the guardhouse and demand entry because they have a relative inside, the robbers will do the same.It is very essential to issue stickers to identify cars.We have a 95% take up rate out of 530 homes and with the excess funds we have done numerous activities, employed 10 gurds, installed CCTV, built a basketball court etc. You can do it also. Our property values have also soared as resident within the area want to live within us.

15. Remember Carry out more neighbourhood unity programmes with excess funds and get to know residents. Not enough funds, Contact YB Hannah office to do a programme within your area. Foster goodwill, gradually more will join in and you will have a better neighbourhood.

Datuk Samson

yeak's picture

Argg, we are not the first be there! :-) But we can be second or one of the top 10. Let's work it out!

tigermania's picture

Hi Yeak,

It is not about being first. More importantly, PH starting point is in front of most other communities aspiring to be "gated/guarded". Many need to enlist the support of more than 75 or 85% of residents before they can get past the first base of getting a collective agreement signed between residents! In our case, we already have a supplementary agreement that can be assigned as stipulated. Moreover, we also have a perimeter fence, a guard house (albeit hazardously located) and a committed RA.

The PH residents must not waste these advantages. There will always be dissent but it is crucial that the majority must not be confused and divided by a minority who themselves tend to be confused and blinded by pride and narrow-mindedness.