Proposal to cap proxy votes draws cheers
Lee Xin En
02 February 2017
Photo: The Straits Times
Proxy wars at condominium general meetings - where some owners gather
hundreds of proxy votes to try to push their own agenda - could end
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is proposing to limit the number of proxies that any one person can hold.
The agency said yesterday it is conducting its third and final
consultation on the review of the Building Maintenance and Strata
Management Act which governs the management and maintenance of strata
properties such as condos.
A BCA spokesman said the final public consultation, to end on Feb 21,
includes proposed amendments raised from previous rounds of
The draft amendments aim to enhance governance and transparency over
how strata-titled developments are run and to provide clarity on
The most notable change would involve a limit on the number of proxies one can hold.
Currently, a unit owner can appoint a proxy to represent him to vote at
a general meeting - with no restriction on the number of proxies a
person can hold.
The amendment would cap the number of proxies at either 2 per cent of
the total number of lots in the development or two subsidiary
proprietors, or unit owners, whichever is the higher figure, in a
Industry watchers cheered the proposed amendments.
Savills Property Management's deputy managing director Winnie Wong called the proposal a "good development".
There have "always been complaints by subsidiary proprietors at general
meetings that another subsidiary proprietor holding a lot of proxies
will be controlling the decisions made at the general meeting".
Owners who collect proxies usually do so to vote for or against
collective sales or by-laws like the charging for parking of a second
vehicle, she said.
Mr Jimmie Ling of the Association of Management Corporations in
Singapore said he has advised at least 10 management councils over such
"With unlimited proxies, people can push for their personal agenda," he said.
"For people who feel that they are at the losing end, I usually tell
them to do the same thing - collect your own proxies, but it's not so
simple a thing to do."
Mr Ling had previously seen an individual holding 250 proxies.
He said allowing a 2 per cent cap on proxies would only "minimise" the
problem, but not eradicate the dominance of certain individuals. As
many condos are large, a few people forming a group and collecting 2
per cent of total unit holders each could still wield a significant
Mr Alan Tang, a council member in a condo, said: "Whichever side you are on, I think this amendment creates fairness."
However, he added that the limit on proxies could also mean that
residents who cannot attend a meeting may be unable to find a person to
hold their proxy.
Dr Lim Lan Yuan, president of the Association of Property and Facility
Managers noted that the cap on proxies could cause issues such as not
being able to pass amendments. But, the potential disadvantages were
minor when seen against the advantages of the proposed amendments,
which would bring greater transparency and fairness, he added.
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