Woman fails to get council post back

Woman fails to get council post back
Symphony Heights along Hume Avenue, as seen from the railway bridge across Upper Bukit Timah Road.

SINGAPORE - A housewife who was removed from her post as secretary of her condo's residents' council went so far as to apply to the Strata Titles Board (STB) to nullify the move decided at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Madam Colleen Teo was unsuccessful in getting her post back, but the court did grant her request for access to all the records of the EGM vote, which would show who voted which way.

The nature of her application to the board is unusual, say observers, noting that disputes going to the STB usually involve management of buildings and common property. Madam Teo did not have a good relationship with some of the other corporation members and the managing agents of the estate, Symphony Heights on Hume Avenue in Bukit Timah, the board noted in its decision grounds issued on Tuesday.

Together with some residents who supported her, she had sought to remove the managing agents at an EGM. For undisclosed reasons, the meeting did not take place. Instead, the council convened its own EGM in January, during which residents holding 67 per cent of the votes decided to remove her while 33 per cent dissented.

The management corporation refused her request to inspect the records related to the vote.

The corporation's lawyer Ronnie Tan argued the material was protected by legal professional privilege as it formed part of the confidential communication between lawyer and client. It claimed she was seeking to identify the proxies to harass them.

But the board ruled the proxy forms for the EGM, attendance records and evidence of the vote count were not part of communications between the corporation and its lawyers and was thus not covered by professional privilege.

It also was not convinced Madam Teo would harass those who voted against her and ordered the corporation to supply all the information and documents relating to the EGM.

But the STB declined to nullify the resolution to remove her, even though it accepted that the required notice period had not been given for the holding of the EGM as argued by Madam Teo's lawyer Kenneth Au-Yong. The board felt that the notice did not prejudice her case as there was no clear evidence she could have mustered more votes if the requisite notice period was observed.

vijayan@sph.com.sg


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