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No permits for errant builders: Ting
30/01/1999 The Sun

Kuala Lumpur, Fri: Mindful of the jump in complaints against developers, the Housing and Local Government will not issue permits to errant builders.

There was a 54% increase in complaints last year compared with 1997, its minister, Datuk Dr Ting Chew Peh, told reporters today.

"When the ministry receives complaints, it will help both parties to resolve the problem," he said.

However, the ministry does not have legal wherewithal to force errant developers to settle a dispute, he said.

It can only blacklist these developers who account for 15% of the complaints.

The ministry is compiling their names which will be made public if the dispute goes to court, he added.

The ministry's monitoring division received 1,135 complaints last year, an increase of 398 cases from 1997.

Ting, who said this after launching the International Real Estate Exhibition and Conference, attributes the increase to reasons including the increase of in awareness of consumer rights, credit tightening measures by banks and the slower release of loans, shoddy workmanship, late delivery compensation, late issuance of certificate of fitness and dispute over maintenance fees.

Selangor had the most number of complaints with 542, followed by Federal Territory (138) and Penang (120). Ting said this is due to Selangor's large number of housing projects.

There were 192 complaints on shoddy workmanship.

Ting urged the construction industry to face up to the reality that public perceptions on property purchase have changed.

The Home Ownership Campaign has proven that people still have the money to invest, but it is now a question of investor confidence.

Although the government will do its best to keep the construction industry buoyant, its entrepreneurs will have to look mostly to itself, he added.

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