Friday, August 29, 2008

Laguna Park En-Bloc Spat - Condo's MC Chairman Nabbed

Source : The Straits Times, Aug 28, 2008

Arrest followed 'glued doors' attack at two units this week; he's now out on police bail

THE chairman of the management committee at Laguna Park, recently hit by a spate of vandalism, was arrested this week on suspicion of gluing shut two residents' apartment doors.

No charges were brought against Mr Lee Kok Leong, 61, who has since been released on police bail.

He could not be contacted yesterday despite several attempts to do so.

A resident who declined to be named said he was surprised by the news of the arrest as Mr Lee was well respected in the 530-unit East Coast condominium, whose residents are now split over a collective sale.

The resident said of Mr Lee: 'Although he supported the en-bloc sale, he had claimed he was a victim - he said his mailbox was glued shut.'

The rift over the collective sale has turned ugly in recent months after several instances of vandalism against those opposed to the sale.

In the latest incident on Monday, two residents found their apartment doors stuck to the frames by glue.

Both live in Block E, and are against the sale.

In recent months, cars belonging to residents not keen on the sale were splashed with a corrosive liquid or paint, or scratched; mailboxes have also been found with glue in their keyholes.

Some residents were hit more than once.

One resident who found glue on the door to her apartment this week said she was worried that the culprits have accomplices, and did not feel safe.

To address the fears of residents like her, an extraordinary general meeting will be called in October.

Contacted yesterday, a spokesman for the management committee told The Straits Times that the purpose of the meeting was to find out where the residents stood on having closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed.

'The big question is whether they would be willing to pay. Everyone wants security, but who is going to pay for it in the end?

'If they want a CCTV camera outside every unit, it would be very costly,' he said.

The move was in response to the vandalism in the estate, he added.

The possibility of a collective sale of the units in this seaside estate arose last December.

Residents have until the end of this year to secure an 80 per cent vote to put it up for sale.

So far, 65 per cent have indicated their agreement to it.

Residents have been told by a property valuer that an average unit could be worth more than $2.1 million in a collective sale, and the penthouses, almost $4m.

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