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Wrath of house-buyers
07/05/08 New Straits Times Noel Achariam

KUALA LUMPUR: More than 2,000 house-buyers in Puchong have had enough with developers.

After waiting for more than three years for their houses, they have demanded that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government act to solve their problem.

They have bought houses in Taman Lestari Permai, Taman Lestari Puchong, Taman Saujana Puchong 9 and Taman Puncak Jalil Phase 10 which have all become abandoned projects.

The house buyers have also threatened to stage a protest march to Parliament and seek legal redress against the developers if their houses are not delivered by 2009.

The owners are also asking for the developers to pay them liquidated and ascertained damage claims (LAD).

The four housing schemes were scheduled for completion between early 2003 and 2005.

Some 100 owners, representing the unfortunate house buyers, handed over a memorandum to the ministry's deputy director-general Dr G. Parameswaran at his office in Pusat Bandar Damansara on Monday.

Taman Lestari Permai representative Mat Ali Hanafiah Mohamed said the scheme was due for completion in 2005, but has since been abandoned.

"Maybe for some, this is a small matter but not to us. We are having sleepless nights thinking about our investment.

"We have been burdened with our monthly loan installment. At the same time, we are also paying for our house rentals because we cannot move into our houses," he said.

He said some of them had also been blacklisted by banks for their failure to service their loans.

"We have tried raising our problems with the developer and the ministry but to no avail. We are desperate now," he said.

Mat Ali said promises by their developer that their houses would be delivered on certain dates were never kept.

"Now, the developer has abandoned the project, leaving us in the lurch," he said.

Mat Ali claimed that to compound matters, the ministry had done nothing to solve their problem despite numerous complaints lodged with the ministry since 2005.

"In fact, we are confused about the ministry's role in this matter. In their website, it states that it is their duty to make sure that all housing projects are carried out in a proper and efficient manner, and the interest of the purchasers will be protected. But that's not the case," he said.

Mat Ali said all they wanted was for their houses to be completed and delivered to them.

Taman Puncak Jalil Phase 10 house-buyer G. Ayamany said by right, the project comes under the jurisdiction of the ministry as after signing the sales and purchase agreement, the buyers were supposed to be automatically protected by the ministry.

"It looks like the ministry does not care about our predicament," he said, when approached after a meeting with Parameswaran.

Ayamany said they raised many issues with Parameswaran and the latter had agreed to meet them next week.

"We have had enough of meetings and if they do not provide a solution to our problem, we will organise a protest march to the Parliament. We just want our problem to be solved," he said.

Ayamany said the developers should issue a commitment letter, saying that their houses would be completed and delivered to them within a stipulate time.

Parameswaran said he had a meeting with the new developer last week and was told that the company had agreed to complete the four projects within one year from December.

"They have also agreed to start work by end of this month," he said.

Parameswaran also gave his assurance that he would arrange a meeting between the company and house buyers for the latter to raise their concerns and queries.

"We will also get the company to issue a letter of commitment to the house buyers that their house will be completed within a stipulated time," he said.


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