01/04/2003 Malaysian Business-Housing & Property
By National House Buyers Association of Malaysia
The HBA strives
to protect and champion the rights of house buyers in Malaysia
WHEN you buy a loaf of bread or a
new car, you can sleep at night knowing that legislation and regulations are
in place to ensure these products meet certain health or safety standards. The
general perception of the public is that no building can be built without the
rigorous control, monitoring and inspection by the relevant authorities. This
trust is misplaced when house buyers encounter problems and find it hard to
have these resolved expediently and amicably
The myriad of complaints from house
buyers - orphaned projects, late delivery, no certificate of fitness, shoddy
workmanship, defects not attended to, no after sales service, no strata titles,
deviation from agreement/plans/sales brochures, etc - proves that the existing
protection is not adequate. This litany of horrific experiences, personal tragedies
and dashed dreams is a challenge to the integrity of the industry and to the
professionalism of those who operate within it.
The real tragedy, however, is the
impact on people's lives. House buyers have revealed what the situation has
done to them, not only financially, but domestically, emotionally and medically.
Despite the fact that we possess the skills and abilities to produce world-class
construction, a major consumer and industry problem has been allowed to grow
to terrible proportions.
Some house buyers have been ashamed
to talk about one of the most significant financial crises they are facing,
afraid to appear foolish or to devalue their asset.
One group of aggrieved house buyers,
however, decided to take a pro-active step instead. Upon discovering that getting
their woes heard was a frustrating process. they got together to form the Pro
Tem Committee of what was to become the National House Buyers Association of
Malaysia (HBA) on Oct 16, 1999. On July 2000, the association was registered
by the Registry of Societies and then formally launched as the House Buyers
Association (Kuala Lumpur & Selangor) on April 20, 2001 by Minister of Housing
and Local Government Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
The HBA is a voluntary, non-governmental,
non-profit and non-political organisation. Our working committee consists of
volunteers from various professions. Our work revolves around sheer humanitarian
principles and ethics, and we strive wholly for a balanced, fair and equitable
treatment for house buyers in their dealings with housing developers.
From the complaints we have received
and from media reports, the damage sustained by house buyers who have trusted
their developers to deliver their products efficiently are too numerous. The
HBA would like to see a level playing field between developers and house buyers
and that house buyers are not short-changed.
HBA's Aims and Objectives
- To promote awareness of the
legal rights and liberties of the members on all real properties.
- To undertake independent authoritative
interest, co-ordinate a check and balance to protect the rights of members/buyers
and to advise the members to protect their legitimate interests in the housing
- To make representations and
liaisons to maintain close relations with and gain representations on the
management of government agencies, local and statutory authorities related
to the housing industry.
- To disseminate information of
interest to the members through the publications, seminars and other activities
necessary for the attainment of this goal, subject to prior approvals from
the relevant authorities.
- To be a housing industry watcher.
- To assist in updating legislation
rules and regulations governing the housing industry towards the new millennium.
- To obtain feedback and collect
data/proposals for the betterment of the housing industry.
- To promote goodwill, spirit
of togetherness and to foster good relationship among the members and the
various communities and to protect and promote members' common interests/welfare.
In its pursuit to see a more orderly environment in the property industry,
memorandums had been forwarded to related governmental departments to lobby
for better protective laws for house buyers. We also hold joint public sessions
with other consumer-conscious groups, such as the MCA's Public Complaints Bureau
and the Persatuan Architect Malaysia.
Before the establishment of the HBA, aggrieved
house buyers could only lodge their complaints to the very people who had caused
their problems! With its slogan "Striving for House Buyers Rights & Interest",
the HBA is determined to get current legislation changed so that those buying
new homes will get the same degree of consumer protection and redress accorded
by the government to all other new products of substantially less cost.