better appreciate our efforts in attempting to find solutions for aggrieved
house buyers, the conditions within which we carry out our functions must
be clearly understood first. Although we have achieved some degree of success,
it does not mean that we are in any way contented with what we have done.
We believe that in the face of a worsening scenario, perhaps there is no
limit to the amount of efforts that we can put in.
As much as we would like
to attend to every complaint, it must be appreciated that this is simply
impossible. Hence we have to prioritise our attention to the more common
problems that affect a larger number of house buyers. Currently these include
complaints of delivery of houses, after-sales services, abandoned / stalled
projects, late delivery, defects and shoddy workmanship, Certificate of
Fitness for Occupation, Strata Titles, Management and Maintenance of apartments
The Association is manned
wholly by volunteers who are people who have careers and families of their
own but have unselfishly given their time so that the complainants can have
their voices heard. There is no hidden agenda. Such are the tenets of a
purely voluntary organisation such as ours. There is no financial grant
from any source other than the meagre sum generated by the Association itself
solely for the purpose of sustaining our operations.
It was solely for the purpose
of striving for the interests of house buyers that the HBA came into existence.
Our founder members' motivations were aroused by the innumerable complaints
reported by aggrieved house buyers who had been short-changed by their housing
As some of the complaints
are common ones, the Association attends to these problems, as a matter
of priority, by presenting them to the relevant Governing Ministries on
a priority basis. Concurrently, we are also pursuing the equally important
and longer term issues such as urging the legislation and the enforcement
of a revised Act to provide better protection for future house buyers.
Our Association believes
that action speaks louder than words. We have established close liaison
with the Governing Ministries and we have participated, by invitation, in
the drafting of the amended Housing Act that has already been gazetted.
We have also mediated in
several cases of dispute between house buyers and their developers. Our
successes in these areas are due to the strong support and cooperation given
by the house buyers themselves coupled with the acknowledgement of our positive
roles (by the authorities) in the alleviation of the woes faced by house
Mindful of our limitations,
we certainly do not make promises of any kind, and neither are we like the
swans which carol in praise of their own beautiful plumage.
Our volunteer workers who
attend to your complaints, go through a vetting system whereby all information
are checked thoroughly and as such, we do not give advice off the cuff because
we treat every complaint seriously.
It is better to be proactive
rather than re-active, so instead of wallowing in self-pity, perhaps you
too, may wish to help sacrifice some of your leisure time to indulge in
this noble public service to help other less fortunate souls. House buyers
and our members are welcome to volunteer their services or seek more information
Lastly, we appeal for a sense
of tolerance and patience from those who seek our help.
Chang Kim Loong
7 October 2002