SPNB must pay
26/11/2009 The Malay Mail By Pearl Lee
Ministry of Finance has told its wholly-owned company Syarikat Perumahan
Negara Bhd (SPNB) to pay up contractors it owes and assured that there
will be no government bailout for the national housing board.
"They have paid portions of what they owe and they will have to pay up the
remaining, or else there will be serious consequences to other parties,"
Minister Of Finance II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah told The Malay
Mail this morning.
He was attending the Culture, Ideas and Values Programme by Institut
Sultan Iskandar UTM at Country Heights Resort and Leisure here.
Husni was responding to questions on whether the government had set up a
task force to look into alleged misappropriations which may have led to
SPNB's failure to pay up the contractors.
He said no task force will be set up to resolve the matter as he viewed
the problem as part and parcel of a business cycle.
"This is just a normal problem for companies and it is just a part of a
business cycle. In this cycle, there is land, and then they (SPNB)
construct houses and then they sell them. If any private company has a
problem like this, do we set up a special task force to settle the
Husni said SPNB had informed the ministry that it would be relying on
three methods to raise funds to pay up 34 Bumiputera contractors who have
yet to receive full payment for housing construction projects carried out
throughout the country.
"SPNB has informed us that they will be relying on their land, unsold
houses and other financing solutions," Husni said, declining to elaborate
further on the details of the method of payment. The Malay Mail had last
month highlighted the plight of 34 Class A Bumipetera contractors
nationwide who had not been paid by SPNB for development projects carried
out over the years.
According to sources, contractors had been informed by SPNB in August this
year that it did not have the money to make payment.
Malaysian Malay Contractors Association chairman Datuk Roslan Awang Chik
had told The Malay Mail that contractors had sought intervention from the
association, hoping that their problem would be resolved.
As a result of this, the paper had confronted SPNB chairman Datuk Azian
Osman on the plight of the contractors who later admitted that the company
did owe money to the 34 contractors concerning 34 housing development
projects nationwide amounting to a total of 35,000 housing units worth
between RM100,000 and RM150,000 each.
He had blamed the economy and poor sales in houses as the reason why
payment had not been made to the contractors.
Although contractors had claimed that RM500 million was owed to them,
Azian had said that the exact amount was, in fact, below RM300 million.
Azian had given his word that the contractors would be paid up by year
He declined to say how SPNB was raising the funds and instead said that "SPNB
had their own way to resolve the matter", declining to confirm or deny
that the money would come from the Finance Ministry.
SPNB was set up in 1997 to provide affordable homes in line with national
housing policy objectives.
Husni also told reporters that the government would implement the Goods
and Services Tax (GST) by 2011.
"Extensive studies had been carried out on the matter and once
implemented, it would not burden consumers," he said.