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Hon. Secretary-General's Appeal for Tolerance

To better appreciate our efforts in attempting to find solutions for aggrieved house buyers, the conditions within which we carry out our functions must be clearly understood first. Although we have achieved some degree of success, it does not mean that we are in any way contented with what we have done. We believe that in the face of a worsening scenario, perhaps there is no limit to the amount of efforts that we can put in.

As much as we would like to attend to every complaint, it must be appreciated that this is simply impossible. Hence we have to prioritise our attention to the more common problems that affect a larger number of house buyers. Currently these include complaints of delivery of houses, after-sales services, abandoned / stalled projects, late delivery, defects and shoddy workmanship, Certificate of Fitness for Occupation, Strata Titles, Management and Maintenance of apartments etc.

The Association is manned wholly by volunteers who are people who have careers and families of their own but have unselfishly given their time so that the complainants can have their voices heard. There is no hidden agenda. Such are the tenets of a purely voluntary organisation such as ours. There is no financial grant from any source other than the meagre sum generated by the Association itself solely for the purpose of sustaining our operations.

It was solely for the purpose of striving for the interests of house buyers that the HBA came into existence. Our founder members' motivations were aroused by the innumerable complaints reported by aggrieved house buyers who had been short-changed by their housing developers.

As some  of the complaints are common ones, the Association attends to these problems, as a matter of priority, by presenting them to the relevant Governing Ministries on a priority basis. Concurrently, we are also pursuing the equally important and longer term issues such as urging the legislation and the enforcement of a revised Act to provide better protection for future house buyers.

Our Association believes that action speaks louder than words. We have established close liaison with the Governing Ministries and we have participated, by invitation, in the drafting of the amended Housing Act that has already been gazetted.

We have also mediated in several cases of dispute between house buyers and their developers. Our successes in these areas are due to the strong support and cooperation given by the house buyers themselves coupled with the acknowledgement of our positive roles (by the authorities) in the alleviation of the woes faced by house buyers.

Mindful of our limitations, we certainly do not make promises of any kind, and neither are we like the swans which carol in praise of their own beautiful plumage.

Our volunteer workers who attend to your complaints, go through a vetting system whereby all information are checked thoroughly and as such, we do not give advice off the cuff because we treat every complaint seriously.

It is better to be proactive rather than re-active, so instead of wallowing in self-pity, perhaps you too, may wish to help sacrifice some of your leisure time to indulge in this noble public service to help other less fortunate souls. House buyers and our members are welcome to volunteer their services or seek more information from us.

Lastly, we appeal for a sense of tolerance and patience from those who seek our help.

Chang Kim Loong


7 October 2002


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National House Buyers Association (HBA)

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