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HOUSE PURCHASE: Just scrap the old system altogether
24/03/2009 NST
By : CHANG KIM LOONG for National House Buyers Association, Kuala Lumpur

The disadvantages of the sell-then-build system are obvious to all.

I REFER to the letter "Ministry must take a clear stand," (NST, March 18) from S.K. of Kuala Lumpur.

I thank S.K. for the kind words in his letter. It is sentiments like these that give our volunteers at the National House Buyers' Association the strength and courage to keep going, despite all odds.

I wish to express our sympathy to S.K. for the predicament he is in. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of other house buyers suffering the same fate is of no consolation to him at all. They are all victims of a flawed system that had been allowed to operate for the past few decades.

The present sell-then-build system (STB) is creating havoc among naive and unfortunate house buyers like S.K. Our view is that even a single case of someone paying for a house and not getting it is one case too many. In other words, anyone who buys and pays for his house must get his house.

Yet, with such a large number of abandoned housing projects, the authorities still seem reluctant to depart from this nonsensical system and adopt the build-then-sell (BTS) 10-90 system, which insulates buyers from the hazards of abandoned projects.

What is more disturbing is that although the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations have been amended and the minister of housing and local government announced its implementation with effect from Dec 1, 2007, the BTS 10-90 system, has been offered merely as an option for developers. This means that the hazardous sell-then-build system is still very much alive.

Of course, a few responsible developers have opted for the BTS 10-90.

Which developer would do business using their own funds when customers' funds could be used? Which developer would carry the business risks when there exists a system for the risks to be carried by the customers? If given a choice, which developer would want to adopt the BTS 10-90?

Clearly, it is high time the authorities compelled all builders to abandon the sell-then-build system and adopt the BTS system.

The minister has a lot of explaining to do but yet he remains silent.


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