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Broken promises and devastating nightmars
07/07/2007 NST Letters-to-Editor By Norhidayah Yeoh Abdullah, Kuala Lumpur

 

I refer to the Viewpoint from the immediate past president of the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) ("Far from being rotten", NST-Property, June 23).    

 

The Sell-Then-Build (STB) method of housing delivery is not only rotten but one that really hurts and causes misery to the helpless, innocent, honest house buyers and their families.

 

Broken promises and breaches of contract have turned dreams into devastating nightmares. I am not proud to admit it, but I am an unfortunate member of this group of disillusioned buyers.

 

Although the writer said there are only a small number of errant developers in the country, the reality is that even if one abandons a project, the number of aggrieved purchasers can range from hundreds to thousands.

 

And this number will definitely grow, for there will be irresponsible developers as long as STB is allowed and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government does not invoke the powers it has to address the problem.

 

My personal experience of paying thousands of hard earned ringgit 11 years ago to buy a medium-cost condominium in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, has turned me from one who believed in the government's promise of basic shelter for all citizens into a sceptical, disillusioned person.

 

When a developer fails to deliver, buyers not only have to service bank loans but also bear the burden of paying rent for the houses they have to tenant.

 

This has landed many in severe financial difficulties, and forced some to even to an an "Ah Long" for money.

 

In one instance, over 100 buyers took legal action against a developer and although judgment was obtained against it, it could be enforced as the developer subsequently filed for protection. There is no justice in the STB method.

 

Without the Build-Then-Sell method, this scenario will not change.

 

The numbers of honest citizens being cheated of their hard-earned money will continue to grow.

 

Is this what the government wants as it works towards making the country a developed nation by 2020?

 

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