KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — No amount of new laws against offences committed by property developers will be effective without strict enforcement, said the House Buyers Association (HBA) today.
This comes as the Housing and Local Government Ministry moved to propose amendments to the Housing Development Act 1966 to impose stiffer penalties against developers of abandoned housing projects.
HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said tougher enforcement of laws was needed to deal with errant developers without which the new laws would remain “ornamental pieces”.
“Wayward developers well know that their chances of getting away with their wayward deeds are extremely good,” he said in a statement.
He called on the authorities to act against developers “without fear or favour”.
He also said that while the proposed new requirement imposing a refundable deposit of three per cent of construction costs on developers of new properties was a good initiative, there needed to be some discretion to increase the amount to five per cent for projects deemed to be high risk.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung yesterday had read a Bill in Parliament proposing that all licensed housing developers who fail to complete a housing project or cause the abandonment of the project shall be deemed to have committed a criminal offence.
If convicted, the developers would be liable to a fine of RM250,000-RM500,000, or jail of up to three years, or both.
The government has often been described as being long on policy but short on implementation, leading many observers to disparage it as a “policy state”.
The lack of effective implementation of plans and policies has also contributed to widespread public scepticism over any new government policies or announcements.