Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club Membership Transfer Fee: A Rip Off

April 17, 2015

Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club Membership Transfer Fee: A Rip Off

KlgccA few of my friends have been trying to sell their KLGCC membership since they wish to relocate overseas for reasons that have to do with the politics of our country. To their horror, they have to come to know that the club membership transfer is now RM70,000 and will be able to do so only if they are prepared to absorb this fee or share it with a prospective buyer. It would appear that in KLGCC, you can get in but cannot get out easily.

One member received this response from private agency and I quote:

There are quite a few buyers but their offer price is around RM200k to RM230k inclusive of transfer fee (TF). Unfortunately the buyers are not willing to fork out the high transfer fee RM70k which the club increased last year from RM25k.

Last year (before TF increase) there were transactions at about RM195k to RM200k incl TF, ie. sellers received RM170k to RM175k. With the increase of TF since August last year, there have been no transactions…because while buyers are willing to share part of the TF they are not willing to absorb completely the TF price increase.

Although KLGCC declares the “market price” of the membership at RM350k, we have not seen any buyers willing to pay this amount yet. If they buy at RM350k, they would need to sell at RM420k(RM350k + TF) just to break even. Perhaps they don’t expect the price to continue to increase in the near future. This is the current situation.

I am told that this  increase in transfer fee was initiated and approved by Sime Darby Berhad, the multinational company which has a big say in the management of this so-called prestigious club  ostensibly with the support of the membership body. This is a substantial increase from RM 25,000 previously. No reason is given for this change. Even rm25,000 is already a huge sum. I wonder how much work is involved by the Club, and which hot shot legal firm is being used,  to formalise the ownership transfer. How complicated can this transaction  to warrant such a cost. So isn’t any wonder that the transfer market is dead?

One would have thought that Sime Darby would understand that the objective should be to facilitate membership change and allow those who have invested in the club membership over many years to exit and realise a reasonable return on their investment. Obviously, this is not the case. It is just nothing but a ripoff.

Will  the Sime Darby  management, the Club President and the Club Captain, Dato Mustafa Ali, look into this matter and the benefits of being a member of this Club. For example, members and non-members are charged the same rates of use of banqueting facilities for events like weddings, parties and other social functions. Surely, there are other ways for Sime Darby to make money.–Din Merican

37 thoughts on “Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club Membership Transfer Fee: A Rip Off

  1. Ha..ha..ha..ha, all the rich politically connected pun kena gasak, GST or no GST,sama saja,GLC pun got holes to cover after they belasah whatever they can get their hands on, padan muka, Allah SWT really works in mysterious ways, remember, payment for sins right here on earth, the after life, only Allah Knows, triple whammy kot. for those not politically connected or earn their money honestly, I appologise in advance.Think of the low – midium income group and poor rakyat whom you are supposed to serve while in office, they don’t even know, the 5 CCCC’s, Condo, Credit Card ,Car, Cash & Club Memberships.

  2. In the US, this fee would be illegal because against anti-trust law. The rational behind this transfer fee is membership duties to the club but in reality what its real purpose is so that it does not compete for new membership – simply anti-competitive behaviour. Golf club depends on membership sale for revenue. If every member they sell becomes a competitor, the business model breaks down. The higher the fee, the more anti-competitive they become..

  3. I am not a savvy investor in golf club membership but surely in things like the transfer fees, the members would have a very big say. Wasn’t this discussed at the AGM or EGM? I was a member of the golf club next door – the KGPA which is not too bad though of less status. I’ve been paying the monthly fees for years without playing too often there as I was mostly posted away from the Klang Valley. The membership is not transferable for profits and just recently I have resigned and got back the full amount of the initial deposit nearly immediately. It’s worth it to belong to the lower status sometimes.

  4. Yes, as a non-member,I agree that this is a rip-off. It just lacks proportionality.

    The rule of thumb probably applicable here is the common law rule that if the local council assesses a property to be worth, say, RM3 million, and they stand to profit from a higher rate arising thereof, then that council must be prepared to buy that property at its own valuation price of RM3 million. This principle is based on fairness when it comes to simple council decision making.

    If the club therefore says that the price is RM350,000 and wants to collect transfer fee of RM75,000, then it must be prepared to pay RM350,000 if any members want to sell. This simple rule prevents and deters any club or any club management from simply making an untenable decision on membership prices.

    I hope this helps, Dato Din. And thanks for your phone number.

  5. I’m digressing a little …

    May I know who owns the land on which the golf course and the club is located?

    If it is owned by Sime Darby or private owners who paid fair market value to purchase the property and subsequently operate it, then this is a commercial situation that others would not be perturbed about.

    If the property is owned by the government (i.e. the rakyat) but leased to the operator at commercial rates, the above applies.

    If it is owned by the rakyat and leased at nominal value to the operator, then shouldn’t the whole deal to allow the club to operate for the benefit of an elite group of people be revisited and the property be made accessible to the public?

  6. Sorry to say this but whatever the UMNO Malays touch,especially business enterprises, it just fails and crumble.I think they actually want these people to leave this country so that it’ll be easier to control all the dungus left.

  7. As a member of a few clubs for a long time, not golf clubs as I am not a golfer, it is high time for the Registrar of Societies to undertake a close review of the Constitution, rules and bye-laws of all Malaysian clubs. This is to ensure that the Constitution, rules and bye-laws are conform to modern-day standards and requirements, particularly with reference to elections, amendments to the Constitution, rules and bye-laws, and use of Club funds. I refer particularly to Clubs whose Constitution allow a single member to carry more than one proxy. In some cases, without any limit. In such Clubs, the Committee members can get re-elected every year by using proxies and remaining in office for life. Nothing can be done to remove a member of the Committee or to censure the Committee The Committee can do whatever it likes, including amendment to the constitution, rules and bye-laws to suit whatever the Committee wants. The Government should not allow such Clubs to exist. Unfortunately, such Clubs do exist in Malaysia. Chung Tat Lim.

  8. This ripoff is rampant amongst the prestigious clubs like Tropicana, KLGC, Kota Kemuning & others which set club fees high to gain from transfer fee. Club membership RM200,000 and transfer fee is RM20,000 though market price is RM60,000 whereby seller will only nett RM40,000. This way of profiteering is ROBBERY and members are at the mercy of the clubs. I hope the relevant Govt. Authority can seriously stop this RIPOFF.

  9. Dear Dato’Din

    At the moment the buyer with the highest offer is RM230,000 inclusive of transfer. This offer was sometime back but so far no seller has taken it up.

    Since then, GST is implemented which means the transfer fee is RM70,000 + 6% = RM74,200.
    (The buyer has to pay another RM6,000 as stamping fee (before GST) and RM3,000 as deposit to the club)

    The buyer would pay you RM230,000 – RM74,200 = RM155,800. (+ your deposit that you will get back from the club)

    Fee for agent is 2.5% for the 1st RM20k, 1.5% up to RM80k and 0.5% thereafter, ie. RM2150 which you(seller) only pay after successful transfer and payment received from buyer.

    So your final amount = RM155,800 – RM2150 = RM153,650.

    The problem is the high transfer fee, has KLGCC given an explanation to its members for the increase?

    We suggest that you check with other members if any manage to sell recently and at what price. If you ask KLGCC membership dept they will tell you RM280k to RM290k but it may just a one off case.

  10. In addition to what Chung Tat has suggested, there is also an urgent need for strict direct interventions from the Registrar of Societies against any club registered with it, when the clubs actions or intended actions, activities or conduct have deviated or are used as covers for those other than the main purpose and objective stated in the M&A of the club.

    This is because such actions and activities encourage corruptions, abuse of power and money laundering of public and societal assets. This is of public interest. It is the duty of the ROS to check on them and investigate swiftly-kLLau.

    Since the transfer price increase KLGCC has been trying promote their term membership at RM30,000 per year… !!! What is wrong with this Sime Darby run club.–Din Merican

  11. The Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament is now on. Watching it live on the telly and you can see why the club is such a classy place with its magnificent site and long tradition of champions. The view of the Mediterranean and the cruise vessels placidly plying the waters is enough to make your mouth water. And to make you wonder whether the ridiculous fees charged by Bolehland clubs for facilities that probably are third-world (and members who often still don’t know that spitting in public is bad) are really meant to soak the rich for all that they’re worth than to provide a haven from the daily grind.

    No doubt you get a good salute from the Gurkha manning the post and a chance to display the emblem on your auto to awe the cops and neighbors. But when it comes to shove the club will still shaft you and treat you like the fertiliser spread on the golf greens.
    So much for exclusivity.

  12. Dear Mazlan Abdullah you are absolutely-absolutely-absolutely right. Let’s not talk about “Dungus”.Sickening.

  13. My my my I am shocked to hear such deal. Dato Din can you lease your membership to someoneelse. At lease he can pay the monthly subs until such time you take over again ??

  14. Dato’ Din,

    I am a long-standing member of KLGCC and I can tell you that many members are very unhappy about the state of affairs, especially since Sime Darby bought over the club from Lum Chang but there is nothing much they can do as it is a proprietary, not a members’ club. You are mistaken in saying that the increase in the transfer fee was “ostensibly with the support of the membership body” because the members had no say when it was announced at the last AGM. We were told to take it or leave the club! It is daylight robbery and KLGCC is not the only club doing this. When a member sells his membership, all the club needs to do is close his file and open a file for the new member. Why should it cost more than the cost of a file??? Not only that, F & B is also a scandal. Teh tarik costs about RM3.00 and roti canai RM7.00 (no egg)! I bought a buddy a whisky once, RM100.00 for a single for each of us! We have stayed away from KLGCC whisky ever since.
    The whole KLGCC deal since it was first mooted under Mayor Elyas Omar smells of corruption at the highest level. I am sure some commenters can shed light on KLGCC’s history. When Sime Darby took over, how much did the company spend to upgrade the course facilities? Who had to bear the cost? Members of course. Still no investigation. Where was the Anti-Corruption Agency then?–Din Merican

  15. My comment earlier refers to those social, sport and recreation clubs and associations formed and registered under the Societies Acts with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) of the Home Ministry, rather those under the Companies Act.

    Not sure which of these is applicable to KLGCC . But it appears to be commercialized or business orientated, operated under Companies act. Could someone out there clarify ?

  16. “Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club Membership Transfer Fee: A Rip Off”


    Evan the land on which KLGCC, Bkt Kiara Selangor Club, etc had been “A costly 53-year-old land tussle”

    This might be off topic, but to share the Sime Darby KLGCC background…

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013 – http://no2azeezrahim.blogspot.com/2013/08/azeez-rahim-tak-layak-jadi-pengerusi_9905.html

    November 28, 2010 – “Background:

    In the 1990s when I was the then Bukit Bintang MP, I was very much involved in exposing the sale of the Bukit Kiara land to Lum Chang from Singapore for a song. The said land comprising of a few hundred acres was sold to Lum Chang at about RM53,000 per acre for a 99 years lease. Lum Chang was given approval to build a golf course, which is now known as KLGCC, with an approval for building of 450 units of condo! This was the “Cheap sale of prime land of the century”. I brought this scandal to Parliament. The lease was finally reduced to 66 years and the approval for the building of condos was withdrawn. After that Lum Chang gave up and Sime Darby came it as a white knight and saved the prime land in Bukit Kiara. So KLGCC is now under Malaysian control. These are the little bit of background about KLGCC.

    The issues now for DBKL and Ministry of Wilayah Persekutuan are:

    1. Why was Sime Darby allowed to use the 60 acres of land in Bukit Kiara for free for so many years?

    2. Why did DBKL gave a RM36 millions discount on the royalty payment?

    3. Did Sime Darby pay RM40 millions or RM4 millions only as royalty to DBKL? (May be this was one of the reasons why Sime Darby cannot make the special audit report public!

    4. Who was the special “negotiator” for this special discount?

    5. Who is this man, Datuk Azeeeeeeeee … z?

    The Minister of Wilayah Persekutuan and Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur must provide answers to the above questions.

    November 28, 2010 – Sime Darby paid RM40 millions or only RM4 millions to DBKL for the royalty payment for the Bukit Kiara Land? – http://weechookeong.com/2010/11/28/did-sime-darby-pay-rm40-millions-or-only-rm4-millions-to-dbkl-for-the-royalty-payment-for-the-bukit-kiara-land/

    “A costly 53-year-old land tussle”

    “…Ng Chin Siu & Sons, on the other hand, has kept a low profile and has not done many developments in recent years. In fact, it has been selling much of its land. In fact, most of Desa Hartamas and Mont’Kiara once belonged to it.

    The family concern once also owned the 1,600 acres that now house the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC), the Royal Selangor Club (Kiara Annexe), the Sime Darby Convention Centre and the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club, which is the subject of another tussle.

    The government acquired the entire area in the late 1970s and ownership now rests with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), which has since leased parts of it to the various clubs.

    What the family still owns is a seven-acre parcel visible on the way to KLGCC, where the graves of the patriarch and his wife are located.

    At today’s land prices, those 1,600 acres are worth some RM25 billion, notes an observer.

    The development of the area was not without controversy as questions were raised as to why DBKL, which had acquired the land for public purposes, leased it out to private clubs. KLGCC, in particular, attracted the most attention because DBKL’s partner was a foreign party — Singapore’s Lum Chang Group. Lum Chang eventually sold KLGCC to Sime Darby Bhd.”

    Jul 15, 2013 – A costly 53-year-old land tussle – http://buildconasia.com/industry-news/1303-a-costly-53-year-old-land-tussle/

    You be the judge.

  17. Last year, a friend wanted to transfer her late husband’s membership to her son; the KLGCC insisted that she paid Rm70,000 transfer fee. She had to give it up because she refused to pay. If that is not a rip off, then what is. What is happening in KLGCC reflects the rapacious behaviour of our nation.

    I thought she should have sued to the club to teach Sime Darby lesson. She may not win but the bad publicity will tarnish the image of the company. I was once with Sime Darby. It was a different corporate culture then. We always put the interest of our stakeholders first while we pursued our commercial objectives.

  18. Din, these days, those who manage Clubs do not care very much about bad publicity. Only money seems to matter these days.

    As I said before, a Club I know has a Constitution which allows a member to carry as many proxies as he can get. Admission as an Ordinary Member of the Club is only possible if the application is proposed or seconded by the Chairman of the Club or any member of the Committee.

    That way, they only admit those who are obliged to surrender their proxies to them. With the proxies,they can amend the Constitution, rules and bye-laws of the Club as they like, they can defeat any motion to censure the Committee or any member of the Committee, they can get themselves re-elected every time their term of office expires and in that way, remain a member of the Committee for the rest of their lives, and they can virtually do whatever they like with the Club.

    Where the Committee is concerned, I call it “the never- ending Committee” where the same members remain in office as long as they like because of the use of the proxies they hold. How can the Government and the Registrar of Societies allow such a Club to exist in Malaysia.

    This particular Club happens to deal with money. Get rid of such Clubs!
    This is modeled on UMNO constitution…kleptocracy.–Din Merican

  19. The use of proxy votes is subject to abuse under the present rules that govern AGMs for societies and clubs. What happens is that the members of the committee will go round collecting proxies from their friends and relatives. They do not need much. The AGM of my club is only attended, on the outside, by 200 members out of a total of nearly 4,000 members. Surely it will not a an impossible task to collect at least 200 proxies through contacts and friendship. Once the AGM begins the committee is in control and like that King in Draughts you can move in any direction because the voting is confined to the members presents and the proxies in your hand. Is it legal yes. Is it moral no.

  20. Just to share this…

    On a dark desert highway,
    Cool wind in my hair,
    Warm smell of ‘colitas’
    Rising up through the air,
    Up ahead in the distance
    I saw a shimmering light,
    My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
    I had to stop for the night.

    There she stood in the doorway,
    I heard the mission bell
    And I was thinkin’ to myself
    ‘This could be heaven and this could be hell’
    Then she lit up a candle,
    And she showed me the way,
    There were voices down the corridor,
    I thought I heard them say

    Welcome to the Hotel California,
    Such a lovely place, (Such a lovely place) Such a lovely face
    Plenty of room at the Hotel California,
    Any time of year, (Any time of year) You can find it here

    Her mind is Tiffany-twisted,
    She got the Mercedes BENZ
    She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
    she calls friends
    How they dance in the courtyard,
    Sweet summer sweat
    Some dance to remember,
    Some dance to forget

    So I called up the Captain
    ‘Please bring me my wine’
    He said, ‘We haven’t had that spirit here
    Since nineteen sixty-nine’
    And still those voices are calling from far away,
    Wake you up in the middle of the night
    Just to hear them say

    Welcome to the Hotel California,
    Such a lovely place, (Such a lovely place) Such a lovely face
    They’re livin’ it up at the Hotel California,
    What a nice surprise, (What a nice surprise) Bring your alibis

    Mirrors on the ceiling,
    The pink champagne on ice, and she said
    ‘We are all just prisoners here,
    Of our own device’
    And in the master’s chambers
    They gathered for the feast,
    They stabbed it with their steely knives,
    But they just can’t kill the beast

    Last thing I remember, I was running for the door,
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before,
    ‘Relax,’ said the night man, ‘We are programmed to receive,
    You can check out anytime you like… but you can never leave’


  21. T.L.Man is correct. The liberal use of proxies in a Club has been very much abused. At times, the Committee members are so-called titled persons – Datos, Dato Seris, Tan Sris, etc.. For example, if the total membership of the Club is 600 plus, those attending the AGMs and EGMs of the Club are likely to be just above 100 members BUT the proxies carried by the Chairman and some Committee members are always more than those present at the meeting. This means that at every meeting, those carrying that large number of proxies will always be the WINNER no matter what the issue is. Such abuses resulting from the undemocratic proxy system allowed for in the Constitution of the Club SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED..The membership of the Club may comprise persons who are also titled, ex-judges, Tan Sris, Datos, top corporate figures, etc but who cannot do anything about the proxy system or who perhaps are quite contented to allow the undemocratic system to remain as it is, for one reason or another. The Government and the Registrar of Societies must ensure that every member of a Club can only carry at most ONE proxy when it comes to voting on issues like amendments to the Constitution, rules and bye-laws of the Club, election to the Committee, resolutions involving expenditure exceeding a specified sum, etc. PLEASE, Mr. Registrar of Societies, please put a stop to such undemocratic systems. Thank you.

  22. Thank you, flyer168. It is a pleasure to highlight the wrong happenings in this country. I truly hope that changes will be made to improve the systems and procedures of our clubs and societies. There must be more transparency and accountability. Those responsible and holding the proxies must not behave as if the clubs and societies belong to their grandfathers, However, I must appeal to the dissatisfied members to speak up and voice their objections so as to put pressure on the Committees to change. Keeping quiet will only make things worse. The clubs and societies will only continue to be run like before. The dissatisfied members must speak up and voice their objections even though we know that those members who keep quiet are those brought in to get their proxies in order to hold on to power. Those in power to-day tend to forget that at one time they were just ordinary members, begging members to elect them to be members of the Committee! Chung Tat Lim.

  23. It looks like the club is misleading its members, to think their membership has increased in value. Instead it is a new price to acquire a membership, not to sell it or transfer it to your own kids .

    In actual fact, only the club makes money and for members, it remains the same after taking into consideration the transfer fees and agent fees.

    I hope new members read this article and if you are considering of buying for investment, it is not a good one.

  24. talking about golf. “Far and Sure” a golf travelogue both for the non golfers and golfers by Dato Zaid Ibrahim. Really enjoyed this book he has played in many of the worlds top golf links and also in Malaysia. He writes fluidly linking the game and gently weaving into it every facet of Malaysian affecting all of us.

    well worth a read I think P.C. Shivdas reviewed it in The Golf Digest.

  25. Dear All, anyone who is interested to buy KLGCC golf membership The Corporate Membership Transfer for 1 nominee. KLGCC Price RM 350,000. Seller willing to sell on nearest offer basis. Please call or text Ms Wong. 012-6321123 or email willabernice@gmail.com for more info. Thank you.

  26. Hi guys and ladies, just read the comments here and agree with most of you. We should make some sounds on next AGM. I think the management should:

    1) reduce transfer fees
    2) reduce food prices in coffee house(food standard is not equivalent to price we pay)

    Would having a petition helps?

  27. In some clubs, sending petition or making a big fuss will not help at all. The Committee will just ignore you, especially in clubs where the Rules allow a idrinary member to carry as many proxies as that member can collect. That is why the Registrar of Societies must look again thorougtly at the Rules of all clubs to ensure that such proxy provision is not allowed. Chung Tat Lim

  28. Hi There, anyone who is interested to buy Individual KLGCC golf membership. KLGCC Price RM 350,000. Seller willing to sell on nearest offer basis. Please call or text Wong 012-3351000 or email wong3333@gmail.com. Thank you.

  29. I checked with KLGCC members department. The rm70k transfer fee is untrue. Transfer fee is 20% of original purchase price. Best thing is to check with the relevant parties before writing any incriminating article. I believed your allegations until I checked, such is the power of blog articles. Therefore as a writer you should be more responsible.

    Nevertheless best regards, Jafri Merican.

  30. It was written in 2015 based on information available then. If it is not true, why doesn’t Sime Darby or KLGCC sue me at that time. They do not need you to defend them. –Din Merican

  31. Defending any club is the last thing on my list of priorities. Ascertaining truth is foremost on that list. Thanks for your feedback.

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