Of missing CFs and errant
NST By K.W.
WHILE the survey by the Housing & Local Government Ministry to determine
the number of properties which have not been issued with permanent
Certificate of Fitness is laudable, it will not resolve the recurring
problem if no enforcement/severe penalty is taken/imposed against errant
developers who persistently and intentionally delay CF applications
through non-compliance with the by-laws. While the local authorities are
partly to be blamed for having seven separate regulatory departments to
vet CF applications, there is also no penalty against errant developers.
This will only cause a stalemate, with the property owners suffering over
and over again.
Developers are taking advantage of the situation by ignoring the CF issue
and blaming the local authorities for the delay while at the same time
purposely failing to comply with the by-laws. The delay greatly benefits
the developers who continue to run their management offices in high-rise
properties which provide a good stream of "undeclared" profits to their
companies without any checks and controls by house buyers. The recently
amended Housing Act does not address this anomaly as it is only effective
from Dec 2. So developers continue to get away with their dishonest
actions. Further delays in permanent CF will also give developers the
excuse to hold back the application for strata titles. So, it is not
shocking to hear that many high rise buildings still do not have CF even
after 20 years!! Some of the steps which could be taken to resolve the
* A regulation that permanent CF must be obtained within six months of
completion of the project without any excuses.
* In the event of persistent noncompliance the local authorities should
inform the ministry in writing and if the fault lies with the developers,
the ministry can impose a minimum fine of RM25,000 for each month of
delay. A token fine of RM500 or RM1,000 is not effective since developers
do not mind paying the negligible sums due to the large profits they rake
in from managing the properties every month.
* To curb corrupt practices, the local authorities must give written
replies to the developers for any delay in CF approval, stipulating that
the specific noncompliance must be rectified within one month. Again, a
heavy fine must be imposed if such non-compliance continues. We hope the
result of the survey will be published in the media along with the name of
the developers concerned and actions to be taken against them.
Incidentally, the entire Desa Petaling condo development has not been
given the CF, 10 years after it was completed.