Housing Ministry: Not true we
only ‘compound’ errant developers
01/03/08 Property New Straits Times
The Housing and Local Government Ministry has denied allegations it only
requires developers that break laws to pay monetary fines.
The types of action by the ministry’s Monitoring and Enforcement Division,
it said, are based on the nature of the offences committed.
Until Dec 31 last year, it said 672 housing developers have been convicted
and prosecuted for various offences under the Housing Development (Control
and Licensing) Act. Another four have been convicted and 19 prosecuted by
the court for non-compliance of awards issued by the Tribunal for Homebuyer
“The list of developers prosecuted has been posted on the ministry’s website
… the actions resorted to (are) based on offences committed, taking into
consideration the significance of expeditious administration of justice.”
In recent weeks, NSTProperty columnist Salleh Buang and the National House
Buyers Association (HBA) took the ministry to task for going “easy” on rogue
developers, as they are able to get off with mere fines.
If the ministry was really committed to ensuring “healthy growth” of the
housing sector, Salleh asked, how could it justify its reluctance in
prosecuting rogue developers, even as the affected house buyers are crying
out for justice?
The HBA has often expressed its concern over the lack of firm enforcement,
arguing that “any law is only as effective as its degree of enforcement”.
The ministry, however, said the actions it has taken include blacklisting
rogue developers and their boards of directors.
Companies and directors blacklisted will not be granted new licences or
approvals for renewal of permit of sale, it explained, adding that this
would prevent them from embarking on new projects and collecting monies from
homebuyers through sales.
The ministry said the process of prosecuting directors takes a longer time
because it has to prove that the relevant officers of the company were, at
the time the offence was commissioned, in positions of authority in the
Compounding developers, it said, is appropriate in cases where the laws
governing advertisement and permit of sale for houses, as found in the
Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989, have been
Once a developer is compounded, it will automatically be blacklisted,
“without having to go through the process of litigation which may take
months or even years”.