SINGAPORE – From Monday (Jan 18), the number of owners a proxy holder at general meetings for sales en bloc can represent will be capped at 2 per cent of the total number of lots in a strata development, or two lots, whichever is higher.
Changes to the Land Titles (Strata) Act will kick in on Monday to encourage owners to participate in person and to minimise the risk of proxy abuse in collective sales, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said in a statement on Friday (Jan 15).
The form of instrument to appoint a proxy will also be improved so that the proxy giver can explicitly direct his proxy to vote as he intended, added MinLaw.
Currently, there is no restriction on the number of owners a proxy may represent.
An owner of a strata-titled property may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on proposals submitted at general meetings for collective sales.
The proxy holder can also vote on an owner’s behalf on the election of members of the collective sale committee.
Property market experts had previously said that there have been instances where those with strong motivation to vote one way or the other at such meetings persuade their fellow strata title owners to give them their proxy votes.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, said these parties could gather significant numbers of proxy votes and influence the sale process in a way that may run counter to the proxy givers’ wishes.
He added that the changes which will take effect on Monday will be positive for the collective sale process.
Property analyst Ong Kah Seng noted that while proxies may help, they may not be the “perfect substitutes” in major decision-making for the owners.
“Usually, too many participants tend to cloud the actual information clarity and can quite complicate the decision making process,” he said.
“Also, Singaporeans generally are not travelling overseas because of the current travel restrictions in place due to Covid-19, so most owners can actually attend the meetings themselves and don’t really need proxies.”
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