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Housing Act may  be renamed

07/01/2001 Sunday Star By Sim Leoi Leoi

Kuala Lumpur: The highly anticipated revamp to the Housing Developers Act will even see a new name to reflect the changes.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the proposed amendments - when ready - would suggest that the legislation be now called the Housing Development Act.

"We have put in a lot of effort to bring about a big change to the Act.

"This is so as to make more balanced and comprehensive," he said here yesterday after launching the New Year Charms of Tibet celebrations at the Sungai Wang Plaza.

However, Ong stresses that the name change did not imply an entirely new Bill but an old Act which had been totally revamped.

"The new name is necessary as otherwise, the old Housing Developers Act tend to be misconstrued by the public to be a piece of legislation only for the benefit of housing developers.

"And house buyers often feel side-lined by the name of the legislation that this Act is no meant at all for their protection," he said.

Among other proposed amendments are the setting up of a housing tribunal to arbitrate disputes between buyers and developers.

Ong said with the name change, the Act would be taken to mean for all those involved in the housing industry.

He, however, declined to state when the proposed amendments would be tabled in Parliament.

"The ministry has done the first draft of the revamped Act and we are now in the process of fine-tuning it," he said.

On the Common Property and Building Management Bill, Ong said the new legislation would be tabled to the Cabinet for approval once this had been studied by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"The Bill will allow the building commissioner to intervene where there is a deadlock between condominium or apartment owners and developers," he added.


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