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Tackling errant developers 02/01/2002 MM
A HARDER approach should be adopted to counter the lackadasical attitude of housing developers and contractors in building quality homes. Difficulties in wielding the `big stick' aside, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk M. Kayveas yesterday said that something could and should be done to arrest the matter.

Teachers' houses unfit for occupation 03/01/2002 NST
KUALA TERENGGANU, Wed. - A hundred units of houses for teachers in Kemaman cannot be occupied as the authorities have not issued the certificate of fitness. State Education director Razali Ismail said the delay could be attributed to the failure of the contractors in meeting the specifications when building the houses.

SPN ready to take over construction of teachers' quarters  03/01/2002 BT
SYARIKAT Perumahan Negara (SPN) yesterday expressed its willingness to take over the construction of 10,000 units of teachers' quarters which are facing delays if asked to do so by the Government. SPN chairman Datuk Zahid Hamidi said the company has the capacity and expertise to carry out the task based on its current performance and its future and current projects.

Selangor sets up State Housing Board 04/01/2002 NST-CITY
THE Selangor Government has set up a State Housing Board, which will be modelled along the lines of the Singapore Housing Development Board. The board will study the strategies used by its Singapore counterpart (HDB), and draw up master plans and regulations aimed at tackling housing problems in the State.

Association: Supervise construction work well 05/01/2002 NST
KUALA LUMPUR, Fri. - Architects and engineers must supervise the work of construction workers to overcome the problem of sub-standard workmanship and materials used in the construction industry. House Buyers Association secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the workers should not work independently as architects and engineers were entrusted with the task of supervising their work.

New Housing Act kicks in on Feb 1 07/01/2002 NST
KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. - The Housing Development Act 2001, with stronger safeguards for house buyers, will come into force on Feb 1 when it is gazetted. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the new Act would better address problems faced by house buyers.

Buyers: Stalled mall project yet to resume work 08/01/2002 The Star
PENANG: Shoplot buyers of the stalled Bayan World Megamall are upset that work on the RM75mil project has yet to resume after nearly four years.A spokesman for the purchasers, Ang Thean Hock, said the five-storey megamall project was only 60% completed although the Penang Develop-ment Corporation (PDC), which holds 30% stake in the company, had set a new deadline for its completion in December this year.

CFs for Semenyih houses 08/01/2002 NST-CITY
SOME 2,000 families living along Jalan Semenyih will receive their certificates of fitness once their water supply problem is solved, thanks to a RM45 million main water-pipe project from Kajang to Beranang, Selangor. The project, carried out by the Selangor Waterworks Department, will provide enough water pressure to supply water to houses along the 13- kilometre-long road.

Developers urged to set aside land for halls, basketball courts 09/01/2002  NST
MALACCA, Tues. - Local councils and developers have been asked to allocate ample land within their project areas for the construction of multi- purpose halls and basketball courts. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said such facilities would help foster racial harmony and enable everyone to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Why RM1.2b teachers' housing project delayed 09/01/2002 NST
SHAH ALAM, Tues. - The company awarded the RM1.2 billion project to build 10,000 units of teachers' quarters said the delay in completing the work was due to difficulties in raising funds. Other factors were it had to ensure that the 109 sites identified by the Government were suitable and also it had to fulfil requirements imposed by relevant agencies.

No sinking fund to repair lifts 09/01/2002 MM
THE lifts at Block 8 of the Taman Miharja Flat off Jalan Loke Yew, break down frequently, resulting in residents being forced to climb the stairs. One of the residents, MANI, says the lifts have not been working since Deepavali last year.

Thumbs up from young executives 10/01/2002 MM
THE Selangor State Government's proposed House Ownership Scheme For Young Executives, scheduled to be introduced by April, has been welcomed with a big sigh of relief. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo announced the scheme after the State's Exco members weekly meeting at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building in Shah Alam yesterday.

Selangor offers 50pc cut for strata title applications 10/01/2002 BT
THE Selangor Government is offering between 30 and 50 per cent discount to property owners and housing developers applying for strata titles, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said yesterday. He said discount on the fee charged for the transfer of qualified title to final title will be in force for six months effective February 1.

Ensuring all high-rise buildings switch on decorative lights 10/01/2002 NST
KUALA LUMPUR, Wed. - The Cabinet today decided that all new high-rise and big buildings must be installed with decorative lights when the Uniform Building by-laws are amended. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the new by-laws, which would come into force by the end of the year, would ensure building plans incorporate lightings as a condition for approval.

Buyers not interested in reviving abandoned projects 11/01/2002 MM
SOME buyers of abandoned housing projects have no interest in reviving them. This was what the government discovered after conducting in-depth studies into such projects. Of the 156 abandoned projects that were looked at, about 20 per cent of such projects in Peninsular Malaysia fell into this category. Most of the buyers who declined to have the projects revived had only paid the 10 per cent deposit. This is in contrast to those buyers who have paid up to 80 per cent of the purchase price. These buyers undoubtedly were keen on having the projects in question revived. The study also revealed that only 52 abandoned projects were still viable.

National Conference on Building Control 10/01/2002 MM
ALTHOUGH the role of building surveyors has not been highlighted much, players in the industry agree that the profession is beginning to gain recognition from the government and the broader property industry as being an important source of knowledge and expertise to address the issue of quality in development. As such, the upcoming National Conference on Building Control on Jan 22 and 23 this year organised by the Building Surveying Division of the Institute of Surveyors Malaysian will benefit among others building surveyors, building control staff from local authorities, engineers, architects, design consultants, construction managers and contractors, building and facilities managers and even lecturers and university students.

`Flats need management bodies' 14/01/2002 NST
BUKIT BERUNTUNG, Sun. - It is necessary to set up management corporations to cope with the growing number of high-rise apartments in the State and Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Selangor District Council president Zainal Abidin Arshad said. It was important for flat owners to understand that on top of the assessment fee they paid to the local authority, they would be required to pay another fee for maintenance

Problems with strata titles the main complaint  15/01/2002 The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Problems with strata titles have replaced shoddy workmanship as the new menace for housebuyers, according to statistics compiled annually by the House Buyers Association (HBA).In its tabulation of complaints received last year, strata titles was the main grievance against developers, comprising 26% of the 1,260 grouses from buyers.

Customers unite! 16/01/2002 MB By Johnson Pang
MY attention was drawn to a recent report in a local daily. According to it, a group of enterprising and concerned bank customers have formed a pro tem committee for the Association of Bank Customers (ABC), which `aspires to be an effective non-governmental organisation (NGO) championing the interests of bank customers and increasing awareness of their rights ... customers unhappy with the local banking service or dissatisfied with some of the rules imposed by financial institutions now have a proper avenue to channel their grievances to ....' Having been actively involved in the banking and finance industry for umpteen years, I can understand the disappointment and frustration encountered when a customer meets with a problem/issue and does not appear to be able to get a satisfactory response or solution. Thus, this is another good avenue to turn to and it deserves our strong support!

Two-year wait ends for bungalow buyers 19/01/2002 NST-CITY
DESA Subang Permai Phase 1 and 2 bungalow house owners in Section U2, Shah Alam, will soon get their houses as the contractors have given their undertakings to deliver the houses by end of April. The project, which began in November 1998, was supposed to have been completed by November and December 2000 for Phase 1 and 2 respectively, but due to "technical matters", construction was stopped.

Consumer rules  19/01/2002 NST-PROP
A sure sign of a progressing nation is the ability of its people to comment upon and yes, even criticise their environment. Their dialogue, as long as it's constructive, should be applauded, while any silence should be deemed not as the sound of fear, but as quiet nods of agreement.

Championing buyers' rights 19/01/2002 NST-PROP
BUYING a home is an important event in a person's life; it is the single biggest capital investment that a person will undertake in his or her lifetime. You would expect, therefore, that such an experience would bring a sense of achievement and joy to those who pursue it. The reality, though, is different. We've all heard first hand accounts or read in the newspapers about house buyers ending up with the short end of the stick when the housing projects they bought were abandoned, delivered late, or of poor quality. Many house buyers suffer in silence and are further bewildered when they are let down by the relevant authorities who were supposed to have enforced the law to protect their interest.

Housing Development Act to be gazetted Feb 28 21/01/2002 NST
BANTING, Sun. - The Housing Development Act drawn up to afford more protection to housebuyers will be gazetted on Feb 28, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk M.Kayveas said today. The Act which had been earlier approved by Parliament replaces the Housing Developers Act 1966.

Adopt common customers' charter, ministry tells depts 23/01/2002 The Star
PETALING JAYA: All departments and agencies under the Housing and Local Government Ministry have been directed to adopt a common customers’ charter to ensure effective public service, said its minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting. This would be possible with the implementation of the Guideline Process on Building Plans Approval.

City Hall to meet public twice a month to solve woes  23/01/2002 BT
KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has set aside the two working Saturdays in a month to meet the public to resolve their problems, Datuk Bandar Datuk Mohmad Shaid Mohd Taufek said yesterday. He said "Meet The Clients Day" will start this Saturday from 9am to 12 noon at the City Hall building in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur.

Maintenance fees collected but no services 25/01/2002 NST
I STAY in a low-cost flat in Taman Cengal Utama. My problem is that the developer has demanded RM600 upfront annually for maintenance fees. This will be equivalent to RM50 per month. I understand the responsibility of paying such fees but I also understand that the amount to be paid must be justified with the facilities and service provided.

Power to change 26/01/2002 NST-PROP By House Buyers Association
THE Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act scheduled to be gazetted next month gives the Ministry of Housing and Local Government vast powers to control, license and to take action against irresponsible developers. The Minister of Housing and Local Government has been vested with the powers to make rules and regulations governing the industry. The House Buyers Association urges the Minister to exercise these for the benefit of house buyers, who have long been at a disadvantage. This includes looking into the standard sale and purchase agreement, or SPA (Schedule G for land and building and Schedule H for subdivided buildings).

Ministries to hold monthly open day 27/01/2002  NSUNT
KUALA LUMPUR, Sat. - The Housing and Local Government Ministry today launched its "A Day With Customers" programme. Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the programme was similar to an open day and involved all departments and divisions. It is to create awareness.

No end to their water woes 28/01/2002 MM
WATER containers and pails are a common sight at Bandar Rinching Phase 2, a housing estate where water shortage is a regular problem. And for the last three weeks, there has been no water supply.

What sells a house 28/01/2002 The Star By Lim Lay Ying
BESIDES location, what would actually prompt people to pay top dollar for a home? Are house buyers convinced by square footages and/or number of bedrooms and bathrooms to pay a premium in today’s marketplace?

What's standard definition of built-up area 29/01/2002  NST
WE are a group of purchasers of double-storey houses in Puchong. When we bought the properties, it was clearly stated in the sales form that the house would have a built-up area of 1,820 square feet.

Interest increasing due to loan delay 29/01/2002 MM
INTEREST charges for a housing loan taken by KALAI is increasing by the day and she claims that this is because the EPF has delayed payments. KALAI says she submitted a form to EPF on Dec 12 to withdraw some money from her savings to purchase a house.

Tough going at Taman Jasmin 30/01/2002 NST-CITY
FOR six years, residents of Taman Jasmin at Jalan Semenyih, Kajang, have been living without town services like rubbish collection, streetlights, grass-cutting and maintenance of drains. The residents, said to number thousands, have been waiting for certificates of fitness to be issued by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKJ) since they moved into the homes.

Bangunan mesti ada Perakuan Bomba mulai Ogos  30/01/2002 BH
KUALA LUMPUR, Selasa - Mulai 1 Ogos ini semua bangunan baru dan lama diwajibkan mempunyai Perakuan Bomba (PB) bagi memastikan kelengkapan keselamatan kebakaran mencukupi dan berkeadaan baik. Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, berkata pemilik bangunan yang gagal mendapat perakuan itu boleh didenda RM5,000 atau penjara tiga tahun atau kedua-duanya mengikut Seksyen 33 Akta Perkhidmatan Bomba 1988 (341).

Council link for residents  31/01/2002 NST-CITY
TO strengthen ties between the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and residents, a special Internet portal will be set up for the 23 housing estate committees in the municipality. The link to the council (MPSJ) website acts as an alternative communication channel between the council and residents.


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