16 Feb 2011 Posted in Speeches
- I am happy to be here this evening for the Strata Titles Boards (STB) Annual Dinner. I congratulate STB on another year of successful dispute resolution. Let me also wish everyone here a joyful Chinese New Year.
Evolution of STB’s role
- STB has played a significant role in encouraging amicable dispute resolution. When STB was formally established in 1987, its objective was to resolve disputes within a strata development so that they did not have to end up in court. As many people in Singapore live in close proximity to one another in apartments, disputes such as inter-floor water leakage are common. By providing a platform for such disputes to be resolved amicably, STB promotes harmonious relationships amongst neighbours.
- STB’s role has since evolved and grown. Thirteen years ago in 1998, I moved the Land Titles (Strata) Amendment Bill to remove the need for unanimous consent for en bloc sales. In 1999, STB’s role was expanded to include mediation and adjudication in en bloc sales, by providing a platform for minority owners who do not wish to proceed with an en bloc sale to voice their concerns and resolve the issues without having to incur legal and court fees.
- STB has performed its expanded role well. In spite of the increased volume and complexity of en bloc sale applications, especially between 2005 and 2007 when the number of en bloc sale applications role from 12 to 75, the majority of the cases were mediated successfully.
- It is noteworthy that, after we revised STB’s role last year to focus on its mediatory role for en bloc sale applications, all the applications filed to date have been successfully mediated.
- This would not have been possible without the dedication of STB President, Deputy Presidents, and members, who put in many hours and work tirelessly to enable parties to achieve a win-win outcome. I was told that the number of cases between 2005 and 2007 was so high that STB had to rent the old Supreme Court building to hear one of the cases as its own courtroom was fully occupied by other en bloc sale cases.
- Your long-standing role in settling disputes between residents in our many condominiums, though less in the public glare, is no less important. With an increasinging population and more high-rise condominiums being built, such disputes, if not properly addressed early, can result in high social costs and a deterioration in the quality of life here. In fulfilling this role, the Strata Titles Board is complementing the work of the Community Mediation Centres operated by MinLaw, which deals with neighbourly disputes of a relational nature.
- I congratulate STB on a job well done, and I thank the STB members for unstintingly giving their time to hear STB cases. I also wish to congratulate STB’s President, Mr Tan Lian Ker, for being awarded the BBM(L) last year for his long and dedicated service to STB. Last, I would like to give credit to the small but efficient team of STB officers who has been working hard in the background.
- I wish you all an enjoyable evening.
Last updated on 25 Nov 2012