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27 housebuyers sue State, contractor for negligence

21/01/1998 NST By Annie Freeda Cruez

Shah Alam, Tues - Twenty-seven housebuyers of a mixed housing project in Taman Alam Jaya, Sabak Bernam today filed three civil suits in the High Court against the Sabak Bernam District Council and Pingat Warisan Sdn Bhd for breach of contract and negligence.

The plaintiffs are suing the council and contractor for negligence and failure to construct the buildings and infrastructures as per the approved plans and breach of statutory duty on the part the council as the developer.

They said the council had failed to ensure that the contractor was building the houses and infrastructures as in the approved plans. The suits were filed on behalf of the residents by their counsel Silas Seenivasagam.

The residents are Gan Ching Nyin, owner of a double-storey bungalow house, Tan Beng Chee, owner of a semi-detached bungalow house; and Rosnani Abdullah, owner of a single-storey bungalow house.

Tan is representing 19 housebuyers of semi-detached bungalow houses while Rosnani is representing five buyers of single-storey bungalow houses.

The plaintiffs want the ground level to be raised to 1.8 metres above sea level or more as specified by the District Drainage and Irrigation Department, a flood retention pond to be build in the housing project to contain the overflowing water from drains flooding the housing estate, to demolish the houses and rebuild them on higher grounds.

They are also seeking, among others, damages for breach of contract and negligence, exemplary and punitive damages as much as RM50,000 per plaintiff, damages for late delivery, loss in value and cost for rectification and repairs.

In their separate statements of claims, they said the Selangor Government had appointed SBDC to be the developer of the project.

The council, they said, entrusted the project to Pingat Warisan in an agreement dated Oct 11, 1993, between SBDC and the contractor.

The contractor agreed that the building would be constructed with good workmanship, in accordance with the plans and specifications contained in the agreement and that no alteration or deviation would be done without the written consent of the owner.

In spite of the agreement, the residents claimed the contractor had failed to raise the level of the project site by 1.8 meters above sea level as required by the district DID.

This, they said, resulted in flooding at their housing estate each time it rained heavily.

They moved into their homes in June last year after obtaining the Certificate of Fitness from the council.

They are 139 mixed houses in Taman Alam Jaya and many of the house buyers have not moved into their homes because of the existing problems.

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