Collective Nomination of Council Members
January 27, 2022
It is a common practice for subsidiary proprietors (SPs) standing for election to council to be collectively nominated by two other subsidiary proprietors-one as the proposer while the other as the seconder. This collective nomination is usually made in writing via a nomination form.
This same collective nomination for 9 SPs at The Warren was challenged (Cheng Hiap Choon & others v MCST 3001 2022 SGHC 16). The argument at the High Court was the “one lot one candidate” principle should apply.
Prior to 1 April 2005, the Land Titles (Strata) Act (LTSA), the legislation that governed strata developments then, restricted multiple-lot SPs to either running or nominating an individual candidate, ie, that SP could only nominate one candidate in respect of all his lots. The principle then was not “one lot, one candidate”, it was “one SP, one candidate”. This rule was relaxed from 1 April 2005 with Sect 53(8)(b) BMSMA allowing a multi-lot SP to run himself and also nominate others subject to the limit in Sect 53(12) – not more than 49% of the number of council members.
The High Court found that Sect 53(6) BMSMA allows an individual SP to run for election as an individual himself or nominate an immediate family member. In making a nomination at The Warren, the proposer and seconder were agents of the nine nominated SPs. The proposer and seconder were not exercising any individual rights of theirs to make several nominations; instead, each of the nine SPs was exercising his own right to run, and to nominate himself. The nine nominated SPs were not nominees in respect of the proposer’s or seconder’s lots: they were nominees in respect of their respective lots.
The High Court ruled that if several individual SPs were collectively nominated, each of them was exercising his individual right to run and to nominate himself in respect of his lot- the “one lot one candidate” principle did apply. That collective nomination of the 9 SPs at The Warren was valid.