|HBA to appeal for house buyers
Malay Mail 06/09/2003 By Pauline Almeida
THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) will appeal against the Kuala
Lumpur High Court's decision on Thursday in which it allowed two housing
developers for a judicial review, resulting in awards made by the Tribunal
For Homebuyer Claims to be quashed.
"As the Attorney-General intends to appeal against the decision, we will
team up with the government lawyers to resident the developers' actions,"
HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong told The Malay Mail when contacted
"This is a landmark case and we want to set a precedent to give protection
to all house buyers." Chang also said that if the tribunal is only
accessible to house buyers who signed their sale and purchase agreement
(S&P) on or after Dec 1, 2002, then it would not see any action until
problems surfaced with S&P signed after it's set-up.
"Please be mindful that a majority of the complaints only crop up after the
scheduled date of completion, that is, either 24 or 36 months," he said.
In the meantime, said Chang, there are thousands of aggrieved house buyers
who are now unable to seek redress through the tribunal due to financial
constraints after having used up their savings on their house purchase.
"This group places high hopes on the tribunal to hear their cases. Now that
they have been denied, we urge the Ministry of Housing and Local Government
to amend the amended law to give it certainty in expressed words evincing
that the relevant provisions are to have retrospective effect and accept all
cases regardless of when the sale and purchase agreement was signed," he
Chang said house buyers at large now feel shortchanged not only by errant
developers but ironically by the Ministry as well.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) said
there is still hope for house buyers making claims for late delivery or even
damages before Dec 1 last year, when the Tribunal For Homebuyer Claims was
Fomca president Datuk Hamdan Adnan said the house buyers could still appeal
under the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry's Trade Description
Act 1976, which stipulates that if a product is not in accordance with the
description as advertised or promised, the buyers could still fight for
"This Act should be able to assist buyers with such problems," said Hamdan
when contacted yesterday.
"But the buyers will have to still refer to their Sale & Purchase (S&P)
Agreement to be better informed of what it entails." On Thursday, the Kuala
Lumpur High Court ruled that the Tribunal For Homebuyer Claims had no
jurisdiction to hear and decide cases in which the S&P was entered before
Dec 1, 2002 when the tribunal was established.
It was reported that Puncakdana Sdn Bhd had sought orders to quash the
awards given to six of the 50 housebuyers who had complained to the tribunal
of late delivery of their houses and failure to complete the common
The company's application was heard together with another similar
application by Westcourt Corp Sdn Bhd against the tribunal and two house
buyers as a test case.
Another developer, Fadason Holdings Sdn Bhd, has also applied for judicial
review against the tribunal and 39 house buyers and hearing has been fixed
in the same court.
In their applications, Puncakdana and Westcourt claimed that the Housing
Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 does not expressly provide for
the retrospective effect.