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Probe into stalled housing project

01/05/2009 The Star By JADE CHAN

DEPUTY Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk T. Murugiah will be holding a meeting at his office on Monday to address the issue of a stalled housing project in Taman Saga 4, Kota Raja, Klang.

“I will call all the relevant agencies involved to attend the meeting, including the agency that issued the developer’s licence and the developer’s representatives, to question why it is taking so long to complete the housing project.

“If no decision is made, the bureau will issue a show-cause letter to the developer through the Housing and Local Government Ministry,” said Murugiah, who heads the Public Complaints Bureau in Putrajaya.

“Based on my observations, the developer is at fault here, as all the relevant government agencies carried out their responsibilities.

“The developer should have completed the project in May 2007 as per the agreement, but till today has yet to fulfil all the stated requirements.”

Murugiah said he had handled similar complaints on stalled or abandoned development projects, and referred the matter to the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

“I’ve spoken to the Housing and Local Government Minister about such cases. He said there were plans to amend the law so that if the developers did not complete the housing projects within the stipulated time, they could be slapped with a harsher penalty, including a jail sentence.

“The government is viewing this problem seriously. We will also sort out a mechanism to help the affected housebuyers,” he said after visiting the site to investigate the case.

The stalled project in Klang involves 46 double-storey terrace houses, with affected house buyers claiming that the developer had issued the vacant possession notice despite the houses not having the Certificate of Fitness (CF) from the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and water supply system.

A representative from the MPK’s Building Department confirmed that they had yet to receive any applications or supporting documents from the developer with regards to the CF application.

M. Muruwamah said she signed the Sales & Purchase (S&P) Agreement for her house in May 2005, but she had yet to move in, despite it being two years since the stated date of completion (May 2007).

“We are facing a huge financial burden because we still have to service our housing loans and pay for the rental of the place we’re staying in temporarily.

“We are given the runaround every time we try to contact the developer’s office to check on the status of our houses and on the late delivery claim (liquidated ascertained damages or LAD),” said the 27-year-old clerk who estimated that the developer owes RM19,000 in LAD so far.

“When we wrote in to Syabas, we found out that they didn’t want to give the approval for the developer to install the water supply system as its consultant had not followed the proper procedure.”

Muruwamah hopes that with Murugiah’s intervention, the problems will be resolved soon and that the developer will pay the LAD that is owed to all housebuyers.

Fellow housebuyers Tan Kian Chuan, a 32-year-old salesperson and Noor-Azua Abu Kassim, a 30-year-old litigation clerk, also expressed their frustration with the developer’s excuses and hoped to move into their houses soon.

A representative from the developer Sumbangan Daya Develop­ment Sdn Bhd said they would attend the meeting.


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