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32 years of waiting and hoping but still no sign of dream homes
12/10/2007 NST Chong Chee Seong

ABANDONED DREAMS: The terrace houses that are 80 per cent completed, but have been have been abandoned for 28 years.

IT was their childhood dream to have their own homes.

When a developer offered to build them houses in exchange for their land, they grabbed the opportunity.

Unfortunately, both women, Lam Ai Yin and Ho An Ching, died two years ago at the ages of 80 with their dreams unfulfilled.

The project, which began in l975, was abandoned after two years. It was to be completed in 1979.

A new contractor took over the project in 2001 but the project was again abandoned in 2002.

The project in Sungai Mati, Muar, was to consist of 149 houses on the 4.8ha site. To date, 80 per cent of the project has been completed. Even the road in the housing project has been tarred.

However, the site for l5 double-storey semi-detached houses is overgrown with lalang.

More than 70 per cent of the house buyers are Bumiputeras who are smallholders, traders and pensioners. Some have already paid up their bank loans.

Businessman Ho Kian Chye, 77, was surprised that after 32 years, the project is not completed.

His family land was given to the developer with the promise of 20 houses, including two double-storey, eight semi-detached and l0 terrace units.

"We were supposed to get the keys to the houses by 1979, the latest," Ho said.

"We wanted to be part of the first housing project in Sungai Mati."

He said the family sacrificed income from the rubber trees on the land to give way to development.

He said Lam and Ho had dreams that they would be able to shift into new homes.

"They died without realising that dream."

Ho, who is an active community leader, urged the Housing and Local Government Ministry to revive the project.


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