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Frustrated house buyers speak up

 09/01/2006 NST


Georgetown, Sun - They are innocent victims caught between the failures of an irresponsible developer and a toothless local government.


Many house buyers of the Taman Krystal apartment complex's Block C, which has some 260 units, have waited almost nine years for their homes. Their investment is costing them dearly.


Labourer T. Mohan, 53, is spending his life savings to pay off the loan for his unit even as he struggles to pay rent for his current house in Ayer Itam.


J.L. Tan, a clerk, said her husband bought a unit nine years ago, but has since passed away without ever seeing his dream home.


Salesman Bhaskar Vora had to find part-time work because he is finding it difficult to make ends meet for himself and his family while dealing with monthly loan installments of RM800.


The developer, Suasana Kristal Sdn Bhd, undertook to deliver their new homes within 36 months of signing the sale and purchase agreement, they said.


The first three blocks of the complex had received occupational certificates (OCs) from the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) in phases but this last block was denied OC without any explanation although it was completed nearly five years ago.


About 50 frustrated buyers gathered today at the apartment building off Mount Erskine Road to air their grievances at a Press conference. The units cost between RM140,000 to RM150,000 each, it was revealed.


"The developer is like a phantom," said unit buyer Dr Lee Eik Chin. "Why is this last block delayed? We are waiting too long for our homes."


Lee said buyers had appealed to state local government committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan many times.


Teng promised to help after meeting the buyers in December, but later said he was unable to do anything and could not even arrange a meeting with the developer, Lee said.


"You cannot imagine how disappointed we are. When we bought this place were full of hope. Now I am struggling to pay my rent and my loan," Vora lamented.


"Some developers are willing to meet buyers to sort out problems. But here, we don't know what is happening."


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