Circular 79/11: Update on Acquisition of a Building to House the Johore Bar Secretariat and the Legal Aid Centre (JBC/LAC)

1. Although approval of a general meeting of the Johore Bar is not required for the above acquisition, the JBC would like to keep members of the Johore Bar informed about the proposed acquisition.

2. The JBC had considered the following properties for acquisition by the Malaysian Bar:

2.1 Property 1

A 5-storey shop office with lift, with address known as No. 5, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak Susur 1/1, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor. Freehold land with approximate gross floor area of 7,700 sq. ft. Lift maintenance charges is RM240.00 per month. Valuation report by Henry Butcher Malaysia dated 28/09/2011 made available by owner, gave a market value of RM900,000. Proposed acquisition price is RM850,000 with vacant possession.

2.2 Property 2

Unit 7.01, 7.02 & 7.03, 7th Floor, Menara TJB, No. 9, Jalan Syed Mohd Mufti, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor. JBC currently occupies 7.02 & 7.03 as a tenant. Strata titles issued.

Approximately gross floor area (sq. ft.):

Unit 7.01 – 981 (Monthly contributions to MC is RM588.60).

Unit 7.02 – 1,387 (Monthly contributions to MC is RM832.20).

Unit 7.03 – 958 (Monthly contributions to MC is RM574.80).

Total area – 3,326 sq. ft. (Total monthly contributions is RM1,995.60).

No valuation report made available by owners. Available for sale at total price of about RM950,000.

2.3 Property 3

A 4-storey shop office at No. 64, Susur 1, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak which is available for sale at RM1,100,000. The property faces the main road (Jalan Tun Razak). Gross floor area of approximately 7,348 sq. ft. No valuation report was made available by owner. Owner is currently occupying the ground and first floor and the basement, whilst the third floor is being rented out to a tenant.

2.4 Other properties

Pursuant to a circular sent by JBC to members to invite comments or views, no other suitable properties were identified. Two members suggested the acquisition of a bungalow in predominantly residential areas. However, the JBC is of the view that a bungalow is more appropriate for a clubhouse but not so appropriate for a secretariat, library, auditorium and legal aid centre.

3. The JBC has made a recommendation to the Bar Council that the Malaysian Bar acquires Property 1 for use by the Johore Bar and Legal Aid Centre, for the following reasons:

(a) Property 1 is centrally located with easy access to the courts. So are Property 2 & 3, but in terms of gross floor area, Property 1 is a more attractive acquisition.

(b) Acquisition of Property 2 will be short term, as in a few years, a floor area of 3.326 sq. ft. will not be sufficient for a growing Johore Bar.

(c) Although Property 3 is in the same location as Property 1, Property 3 has the advantage of facing the main road. However, in terms of gross floor area and price, Property 1 is a better acquisition. Price difference is RM250,000, and JBC do not need a road frontage advantage.

(d) The ground floor of Property 1 can be left as it is and put up for rent to a tenant for the time being, as the other 4 floors are sufficient for use by the Johore Bar and Legal Aid Centre for time being.

(e) The first floor can be set aside for the secretariat and legal aid centre.

(f) The second floor can be set aside for meeting rooms for use by Johore Bar, Disciplinary Committees and the Mediation Centre.

(g) The third floor can be set aside for the library.

(h) The fourth floor can be set aside for an auditorium.

(i) Renovations can be done in stages and by floors, in accordance with need to use basis.

4. We shall keep members informed when the Bar Council has made a decision on this matter.

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