Housing Setbacks: Fix our own
07/06/2007 NST By Woo Sow Pheng, Johor Baru
ACCORDING to "Real estate boom looms" (NST, June 3), the country is now to
be launched as "an international property destination" that will attract
billions in foreign investment and create new jobs.
I wonder, though, whether we have thought of cleaning up our own backyard
first before launching such promotions.
Abandoned projects are everywhere, especially in Johor.
Have they spared a thought for the thousands of victims of abandoned
projects who are still waiting for their homes?
Our committee, Cahaya Kota Putri Pro-tem Committee, represents 1,090 buyers
of Taman Cahaya Kota Putri near Johor Baru, one of the unfinished projects.
All these efforts may come to nothing if these abandoned properties stand as
evidence of the inability of the state and federal agencies to monitor and
control the activities of unscrupulous developers.
How did Taman Cahaya Kota Putri come to this state?
When the 1,720 units of housing were launched in 2002, 1,374 units were
The housing project stalled after one year and buyers were left with
unfinished houses and bare land until today.
After a lot of expense and time invested by the committee elected by 600
buyers to save the project, we can now look back and say: "Why did we even
bother at all?"
Memorandums, numerous letters and pleas to the relevant authorities for
action, especially the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the
minister, have produced nothing.
It took buyers seven months to get a first meeting with the ministry, and
then to have it adjourned without any action taken as the ministry wanted
three months to monitor and follow up on the case. That meeting was last
The project went from being a stalled project to an abandoned one (as
declared by the ministry in its Senarai Project Terbengkalai 2005 — that
being the only decisive action taken so far) and was later placed under
receivership and finally the winding-up.
We have failed to revive our project but it is not because of a lack of
Therefore, we urge the authorities preparing for the boom in the property
market to think of those that went bust.
Neglecting those unhappy victims of failed housing properties will not be
good for the image we are trying to project as "an international property
If the laws cannot give adequate protection, a safer mode of housing
delivery like 10:90 is necessary to protect buyers from further suffering,
financial losses and victimisation