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Obtaining strata titles: a developer's duty
15/11/1998 NST-PROP
Prof Salleh Buang hopes that a recent decision of the Malacca High Court can throw some more light on this difficult area of the law.

Urgent need to revamp the Housing Developers Act
11/12/1999 NST-PROP
The Housing Developers Act 1966 which is more than 30 years old is in need of a total revamp, judging from the number of calls by the public and local leaders.

What makes buyers unhappy with legal provision in S&P
25/12/1999  NST-PROP
When a Malaysian buys a house or an apartment from a licensed housing developer, the sale and purchase agreement that the parties are obliged to sign is not open to negotiation.


Pitfalls of buying a model house
27/04/2001 NST-PROP
THERE is a strong urge bordering on an irresistible compulsion for people with money and no patience to buy an existing model house, also called a show house, built by a housing developer on the occasion of the launch of a new project, or a new phase of a project.


Financing an illegal purchase
18/05/2001 NST-PROP
On January 5, 2001 the Kuala Lumpur High Court handed down a decision which I think should be read by everyone involved in the housing industry and more so by senior management in financial institutions.

NLC 2001 amendments
01/06/2001 NST-PROP
It has been quite some time since the National Land Code 1965 (NLC) was amended.

Make them pay
15/06/2001 NST-PROP
Punitive measures are in place for false advertising, perhaps it is time to exercise them.

The law’s stepchildren
16/07/2001 NST-PROP 
One of land law’s most important (for the squatter, the most awful) decisions is none other than Sidek & 461 Ors v.Government of Perak [1982] 1 MLJ 313, where Raja Azlan Shah J. (as he then was) said, in one of his most-oft repeated judgments, that “squatters have no rights in law or equity”.


Weak debate on housing bill
26/10/2001 NST-PROP
Only time will tell whether the new law is up to expectations or still a major disappointment

Questionable ventures
02/03/2002 NST-PROP
A news item in a local daily at the end of February raised some eyebrows because it queried the propriety of joint ventures affecting State land in Kelantan.

The long and winding road
15/03/2002 NST-PROP  
If a problem involving indiscipline was to occur in a school, the problem would usually be tackled either by the class teacher, the discipline master or the principal, in that ascending order.

Is it a crime?
13/04/2002 NST-PROP
Under the Housing Developers (Control & Licensing) Act 1966, as it stood before its most recent amendment, housing developers can be sent to prison by the courts (apart from having to pay substantial fines) if they commit any of the following offences:

The Act is here but when is the SPA?
25/04/2002 NST-PROP
The Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (amended last year) is ready for  implementation and enforcement but where is the standard Sale and Purchase Agreement, wonders Salleh Buang

A primer on land ownership 
11/05/2002 NST-PROP
Land ownership in Peninsular Malaysia is governed by the National Land Code 1965 (NLC), in force since January 1966. Since the law is based on the Torrens System (where “the register is everything”) ownership is evidenced by having one’s name on the title.

Right to sue still doubtful  
25/05/2002 NST-PROP
Whether an assignment is in fact absolute does not have any impact on section 22C

Time for purchasers' indemnity insurance  
07/09/2002 NST-PROP
Things are brightening up in downtown Alor Setar. Everyone is looking forward excitedly to seeing it attain city status by next year.

Backdating the law
04/01/2003  NST-PROP
Probably everyone by now knows that the updated version of the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (with its new name) has been in full force since Dec 1.

Raw deal for purchasers
11/01/2003  NST-PROP
 Housing means different things to different people. For the average Malaysian who is still without a roof over his head to call his own, a house is not just a shelter but also a home and sanctuary.

Appraising the new SPA  
08/03/2003 NST-PROP
There was an e-mail message in my inbox recently from an old friend, NT of Shah Alam

Fine-tuning public auction  
22/03/2003 NST-PROP
When the National Land Code, 1965 was amended recently, many thought it was merely to effect a shift in policy announced earlier by the Prime Minister.

Enlarging the Ministry's role
12/04/2003 NST-PROP
I have rarely found anything useful in the Internet portals maintained by our various federal ministries and departments, but there are exceptions to the rule.

Blots on the landscape
10/05/2003 NST-PROP
Derelict buildings are usually made up of abandoned buildings, although there have been cases where they are occupied, if not by their owners, then by tenants or squatters.

Dislodging your interest
31/05/2003 NST-PROP
I recently received a query via e-mail from a reader in Shah Alam, Selangor. Ahmad (not his real name), sold a piece of land to a distant relative, Borhan (also not his real name), over a year ago.

Talking in code
19/07/2003 NST-PROP
Ask people what they think of the National Land Code and invariably the reply will be: “I can’t understand it.

Right to vacant possession
26/07/2003 NST-PROP 
In a standard Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) for residential accommodation signed with a developer, a purchaser is guaranteed the right to receive vacant possession of a completed building within the period stipulated in the agreement.

Upholding purchaser protection
02/08/2003 NST-PROP
There is a recent case regarding purchaser protection (the primary objective of the Housing Development Act 1966) which merits close study by everybody involved in the local housing industry.

Slimmer is fitter
06/09/2003 NST-PROP
Thank goodness the problem regarding delay in the issuance of Certificates of Fitness for Occupation (CF) for built properties is nearing an end.

A shocking decision
20/09/2003 NST-PROP
The finding of the High Court to curtail the power of the Housing Tribunal was upsetting ... but not unforeseeable Depending upon who you are, the recent decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to disallow the Tribunal for Home-buyer claims from hearing disputes between two developers and their buyers arising from Sale and Purchase Agreements signed before Dec 1 2002 must have either shocked you ... or allowed you to heave a sigh of relief.

The year after
29/11/2003 NST-PROP
One year is too soon for the ideal state of affairs contemplated by the amendments to the housing laws to be achieved How time flies.

Pitfalls of unchecked urban growth
15/01/2004 NST-PROP
Unlike enthusiastic lawyers, urban planners would probably have little time or patience for the intricacies of jurisprudence.

Walls that exclude  
06/03/2004 NST-PROP
THERE is a growing number of Klang Valley residents who are moving out of their homes in the "open" and settling into gated communities with their twin attributes of privacy and security.

Tenants from hell
17/04/2004 NST-PROP
If you have been blessed with extra cash (or have access to an easy-term financing scheme) and property investment is your cup of tea, you’ve probably amassed a portfolio of properties which you’re renting out - residential, commercial, and may be industrial as well.

Solving the low-cost housing woe
15/05/2004 NST-PROP
Units may be priced too high while buyers still face the threat of abandoned projects.

Identifying the black sheep
22/05/2004 NST-PROP
Assurance needed that developers with bad track records do not repeat their wrong-doings

Premier boost for build-then-sell
05/06/2004 NST-PROP
WHAT are the chances of the build-then-sell (BTS) method becoming law in the near future?

Towards better land administration
24/07/2004 NST-PROP
My congratulations to the senior management and staff of the Land and Cooperative Development Ministry (its former name, for as long as I can remember) for having a new minister and a new name, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment?.


Clear path for the Housing Tribunal
31/07/2004 NST-PROP
It was good news indeed for house buyers when the nation's highest judicial body, the Federal Court, declared that the newly established Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims is empowered to hear all disputes related to the Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) between house buyers and developers that are brought before it.

Duties of a housing developer
04/09/2004 NST-PROP
The duties of a housing developer can be put into two broad categories.

Avoiding legal pitfalls
11/09/2004 NST-PROP
THERE is an old common law doctrine called "the freedom of contract" which, simply put, means that people are free to make their own contracts.

Know what you're signing
18/09/2004 NST-PROP
A quick tour through the laws governing the sale and purchase of a house

Misplaced generosity
09/10/2004 NST-PROP
The law regulating landlords and tenants in Peninsular Malaysia is not too difficult to learn, or too complicated to comprehend.

Questions over Malay reserve land
30/10/2004 NST-PROP
Earlier this month, I spent a couple of days in the midst of more than 250 senior officers from Land Offices around the country, at a seminar on land administration in a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The abuse of knowledge
14/02/2004 NST-PROP
It is indeed a pity that the people behind the fraudulent land transfers recently discovered in Selangor had no qualms about abusing the knowledge they have on the computerised land registration system for their own benefit

Beware the risks  
01/01/2005 NST-PROP
A joint venture in any undertaking - whether in trading, manufacturing, construction or land development - is like a marriage. While some joint ventures can be said to be “made in heaven”, there are others that can only be described as “consummated in hell”.

An environmental tragedy: But who weeps?
26/02/2005 NST-PROP
By now, many of us would probably have forgotten what our fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, told the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 30, 2003 when presenting the Mid-Term Review of the Eighth Malaysia Plan.

Questions over land alienation in the Klang Valley
05/03/2005 NST-PROP
Thanks to the power of the Press, investigative journalism and increasing awareness of the laws of the nation among people, public horror has rightly been expressed over the ecological destruction - carried out in the name of development - that Shah Alam has suffered.

When heads would have rolled...
12/03/2005 NST-PROP
I HAVE been flooded with e-mail and SMSes for the past week from friends and readers around the country who are keeping a close watch on the environmental tragedy that has unfolded in Shah Alam, Selangor.

Foreign observations
23/04/2005  NST-PROP
Ever since my good friend and editor, Andrew Wong, invited me to “join him” (and leave behind us another daily) to become a regular contributor for PropertyTimes, I have always enjoyed the prospect of opening my e-mail Inbox every morning and perusing the messages that readers of my column send me.

Punishing environmental offenders
11/06/2005 NST-PROP
According to a recent news report, the Federal Government is setting up a special task force to detect and combat environmental crimes. Admittedly, a salutary move that deserves public support.

Compulsory land acquisition
18/06/2005 NST-PROP
The Federal Constitution guarantees citizens right to ownership of property.

Challenging land acquisition
26/06/2005 NST-PROP
A little over three years ago - on April 12, 2002 to be exact - the High Court sitting in Shah Alam, Selangor, delivered its verdict in the landmark land acquisition dispute between Sagong Tasi & 6 Ors vs Kerajaan Negeri Selangor & 3 Ors (2002, 2 AMR 2028).

Malaysia as a second home 
04/06/2005 NST-PROP
The Malaysia: My Second Home (MMSH) campaign is rooted in policy.

Long shadow of Boonsom Boonyanit
02/07/2005 NST-PROP
Ask a lawyer who claims to know the National Land Code like the back of his hands which provision he would regard as the single-most important statute, and my guess is that he would say, “Section 340”.

Singing the same old song
09/07/2005 NST-PROP
I was in Johor last week when the State’s Legislative Assembly was also sitting.

Spare the beaches, save the shorelines
30/07/2005  NST-PROP
Monday July 25 turned out to be an important date for the planning profession in this country.

The lure of ‘Privatopia’
15/10/2005 NST-PROP
There is a growing body of literature on gated communities, not only abroad but also locally.

How safe is your title?
26/11/2005 NST-PROP
A woman in Penang lost her land, a very valuable piece of property in Tanjung Bungah, when a con-artist, also a woman, impersonating her transferred the land to a purchaser, a Malaysian-registered company. 

Housing heartaches
29/10/2005 NST-PROP
In May 2004, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted by the local media as saying, "I think it is not right to pay money first, before you get your house if they (developers) don't get to sell all their houses, the money won't be enough for them to build. What will happen to those who have paid up?

Reflections and recriminations
07/01/2006 NST-PROP
It has become customary that at the end of each year, we take stock of what we have done over the past 12 months to see where we have gone, what we have done, the mistakes we committed, what services we rendered, and so on.

A season of hope ...
14/01/2006 NST-PROP
High on my wish list for 2006 is an end to the perennial problem of abandoned housing.

Beyond Boonsom Boonyanit
21/01/2006 NST-PROP
In an earlier column titled “How safe are your titles?” (PropertyTimes Nov 26, 2005) I noted that according to the United Nations Guidelines on Land Administration, a good system should, among other things, provide State guarantee of land ownership and security of tenure.

In urgent need of reform
04/02/2006 NST-PROP
It is only lately that residents of Peninsular Malaysia have been compelled to grapple with the problem of a registered proprietor’s indefeasibility of title, for there had been no urgent need to address the issue before the Boonsom Boonyanit case (PropertyTimes, Jan 14, 2006).

Handling rogue developers
25/03/2006 NST-PROP
EARLIER on in this column, I said that high on my wish list for 2006 is an end to abandoned housing. But going by news reports, not just in the dailies but also over prime time TV news since January this year, stories of such banes still continue to haunt us.

All’s not well on the sea front
01/04/2006 NST-PROP
A couple of weeks ago, while attending a conference in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, my good friend Chang Kim Loong of the National House Buyers Association handed me a brochure of a beachfront project in the area.

Landlocked landlords
08/04/2006 NST-PROP
Let’s say several years ago you purchased, after a cursory visual inspection, a four-acre plot of land some 20km away from your city centre residence.

Throw environmental offenders in jail
15/04/2006 NST-PROP
I have on several occasions in the past expressed in this column my feelings of regret and dismay at what seems to be an inexplicable reluctance of part of the judiciary to punish environmental offenders with custodial sentences, even when the facts of a particular case warrant it.

Hardware and heart-ware needed in Land Offices
22/04/2006 NST-PROP
There has been much “official good news” publicised about the computerisation of the Land Offices throughout the country. However, on the quiet, friends in-the-know tell me that the situation is not really as bright as it ought to be.

Making BTS Work
22/07/2006 NST-PROP
THE commentary I made early this month on the Government's decision to introduce the 10:90 variant of the Build-Then-Sell (BTS) mode of housing delivery (NST-Property July 1, 2006) has received quite a bit of feedback.

The pros and cons of gated living
21/04/2007 NST-PROP
Why do people really go for such a scheme, and what can be regarded the "best model?

The sad tale of Abu Seman
12/05/2007 NST-PROP
High time a lop-sided law that continues to protect rogue developers is rectified Twenty years ago, Abu Seman Saad embarked on a journey to realise a dream. It may not seem like a very big dream to some, but for the KTM Bhd worker, owning a single-storey home in Taman Kotawira in Taiping, Perak, was nirvana.

Righting a wrong
21/07/2007 NST-PROP
Once again, that awful Federal Court decision of 2001, in the Boonsom Boonyanit vs Adorna Properties case, has cast its dark shadow on the legal landscape. The New Straits Times front-paged it last Saturday under the headline, "Land Deal: Court of Appeal declares Federal Court Ruling Wrong".

Moving at snail’s pace
01/09/2007 NST-PROP
We are now 50 years as a free and independent nation. A joyous occasion indeed for all Malaysians, as we pat ourselves on the back for the splendid progress we have made over the last five decades. Did I say "progress"? Perhaps you may want to revise your opinion after you read two stories I recently picked up from our local media.

Avoiding a mortgage meltdown
08/09/2007 NST-PROP
A number of our real estate players may have learnt a valuable lesson following the recent mortgage meltdown in the United States. Besides property, other sectors of the national economy were also affected. And, as everyone predicted, the problems spread around the globe, albeit in different degrees.

Please, protect landowners too
19/11/2007 NST-PROP
In about a month's time, it will be exactly seven years since the Federal Court made that "historic" – or "disturbing"– decision as many have described it – in the Boonsom Boonyanit land transaction dispute.

Strange happenings in Sungai Siput
 07/01/08 Property New Straits Times Salleh Buang
The procedure for applying for state land in this country is laid down clearly in the law – the National Land Code 1965. However, should you wish to learn more, detailed information is available in cyberspace, for example, in the Johor state government website.

Wherefore art thou, OSC?
14/01/08 Property New Straits Times By Salleh Buang
When Prime Mininster Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched the One-Stop Centre (OSC) initiative in April last year, he emphasised that it was part of "several moves by the government to boost the property sector in the country".

Blacklisting rogue developers
19/01/2008 NST-PROP
FROM the email I receive every month, one sent by Dick (not his real name) just as we turned the corner into 2008, grabbed my attention. He asked: Has the Housing and Local Government Ministry's blacklisting of rogue developers had any lasting, beneficial impact?

Responsibility has a name
18/02/08 Property New Straits Times Salleh Buang
Over a year ago, on Feb 12, 2007 to be precise, the latest legislative exercise to tighten our housing law –received Royal Assent. Amendments to the Housing Development Act 1966 were gazetted on Feb 15, 2007 and effectively became law on April 12, 2007.

A bold leap by Perak
20/05/08 NST Salleh Buang
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Nizar Jamaluddin’s pledge to issue permanent land titles to some 10,000 TOL (Temporary Occupation License) holders in 134 new villages has not gone down well with his political opponents.

Conversion doesn’t pay
26/05/08 NST Salleh Buang
Under the National Land Code 1965 which applies to Peninsular Malaysia, there are only three categories of land use: Agriculture, building and industry. There is no fourth category called “padi land”.

Between hype and hope
17/06/08 NST Salleh Buang
When a colleague told me recently that changes to the National Housing Policy will soon see the light of day, purportedly to "protect buyer’s rights", I must say that my initial response was to ask, "What policy? I don’t know that we ever had one!"

Wanted: An effective land information system
12/08/08 NST Salleh Buang
Any man-made system is measured and valued by its enduring benefits to society, and the same should be said of a national land information system (LIS). According to the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), LIS is a tool for legal, administrative and economic decision making.

Land fraud victims needn’t suffer
15/10/08 NST Salleh Buang
The Federal Court gave Malaysians an awful lesson in the Boonsom Boonyanit case seven years ago – that under the local version of the Torrens system, innocent landowners who are victims of fraudsters and scam artists cannot expect to find justice in the law.

Of Queensbay and foreshore
21/10/08 NST Salleh Buang
A news item regarding the National Land Code (NLC), specifically section 76, recently caught my attention. Under the law, a State Authority is the absolute owner of all "state land" within the territory of the state. In section 5 of the NLC "state land" is defined as "all land in the State" other than alienated land, reserved land, mining land and reserved forests.

Still many unanswered questions
09/12/08 NST By Salleh Buang
Going by recent media reports, it would appear that the orang asli community can expect good times beginning next year. According to Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, each orang asli household will be given agricultural plots of between two and six acres and another 553,820sq ft of land to build their own permanent dream home.

Nobody listens to the Voice of Reason
15/12/08 NST By Salleh Buang
"Leave the hills alone", warned the Voice. "What? Can't hear you," came the instant reply. Just eight words, but they succinctly sum up what has been happening to our hillslopes and highlands all these years.

Time to scrap immunity of authorities
30/12/08 NST By Salleh Buang
Section 95(2) of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133) may be difficult for lay persons to comprehend fully and I, therefore, reproduce a portion of what's relevant here.

Dark side of the Torrens system
12/01/09 NST By Salleh Buang
One important fact about our land administration system which many people forget or overlook is that our local Torrens system is not a close-door or an exclusive system.

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