government

Questioning DBKL’s move on KLites

Justifying the proposed assessment rate hike THE media has reported that two former mayors – Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail and Tan Sri Elyas Omar – have questioned the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on its proposed assessment rate hike. Ahmad Fuad, predecessor to the current mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, pointed out that he had raised reserves amounting to RM3bil prior to retiring last year. This means Ahmad Phesal inherited RM3bil when he took over. Ahmad Fuad reportedly said that DBKL must provide a detailed budget for 2014, with a breakdown of how much money was needed and how it would be spent. Elyas, meanwhile, noted that DBKL had “bigger revenue compared to what it had 30 years ago”, adding that there was no need to increase rates “even by 10%”. DBKL must be selective and make a di...Read More

Purchasers’ risk in progressive payment

THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) has complained to the Minister and those under his charge about purchasers becoming victims when they lose their homes as a result of foreclosure proceedings taken against them by banks to recover loans taken by developers secured by purchasers’ houses bought from the same developers, because the said developers did not settle the loans taken by them. The crux of the problem is that the Housing Ministry-prescribed sale and purchase agreement (SPA) allows the developer to build the purchaser’s house with the instalments of the purchase price paid by the purchaser from the day the SPA is signed. On top of this, and even more seriously, the developer is allowed to borrow from the developer’s banks on the security of the purchaser’s property. The pur...Read More

Pre-requisite condition for licensing of a housing developer

It is noteworthy that the Housing and Local Government is providing further protection to house buyers against the antics of irresponsible developers. The recent amendments to the Housing Development Act comes to mind. One of the most pertinent clause that was amended is Section 6(1)(b) of the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966. The matter refers to the amendment to the requisite deposit, which is refundable, from the current RM200,000 to 3% of the construction cost. Small developers who build small number of houses in the smaller towns and where total construction cost is RM2mil or less, the RM200,000 that they are currently forking out actually represents over 10%. Therefore, for them the new 3% is actually a vast reduction! To a big project developer whose construct...Read More

PR1MA now chasing profit, not helping first-time owners, says house buyers’ group

(April 20): PR1MA Corporation Malaysia (PR1MA) has strayed from its objective of building affordable homes in urban localities and instead has become profit-oriented, going into joint ventures with private developers, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) said. Its secretary-general, Chang Kim Loong, said the corporation under the Prime Minister’s Office has relaxed many of its housing requirements and allowed private developers to come in as joint venture partners. “We know these private developers are profit-oriented and they are not there to do charity. Therefore, why should PR1MA share their cake with them?” Chang said it has increased the ceiling price of a house from RM350,000 to RM450,000 last year and allowed second-time buyers to purchase PR1MA units. “The ...Read More

Malaysia’s errant developers still not afraid

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 ...Read More

Pre-requisite condition for licensing of a housing developer

It is noteworthy that the Housing and Local Government is providing further protection to house buyers against the antics of irresponsible developers. The recent amendments to the Housing Development Act comes to mind. One of the most pertinent clause that was amended is Section 6(1)(b) of the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966. The matter refers to the amendment to the requisite deposit, which is refundable, from the current RM200,000 to 3% of the construction cost. Small developers who build small number of houses in the smaller towns and where total construction cost is RM2mil or less, the RM200,000 that they are currently forking out actually represents over 10%. Therefore, for them the new 3% is actually a vast reduction! To a big project developer whose construct...Read More

Plight of kampung land owners

Where’s the prosecution against the 205 unlicensed housing developers? BUYERS BEWARE BY CHANG KIM LOONG ABOUT two years ago, an English daily highlighted the plight of land owners who had entered into joint ventures with unlicensed developers to build houses on their (home owners’) land. Most of these deals involved land in the kampung (or villages). When these partnerships turned soured and were subsequently highlighted in the press, the Housing Ministry warned it was going to catch these businessmen, most of whom were small-time developers out to make a quick buck. However, until today, no action seems to have been taken on these errant developers while the victims continue in their miseries and financial nightmares due to abandoned projects and botched joint ventures. The Housing Minist...Read More

One abandoned housing project too many

Ministry: 134 abandoned private housing projects in three years. A total of 134 abandoned private housing projects were recorded in Peninsular Malaysia between 2013 and November, 2016, according to Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique in reply to a question in Dewan Negara Dec 6, 2016. She said the number included 26 abandoned projects this year. The government has allocated RM20mil to revive abandoned private housing projects next year. She, however, noted that next year’s allocation is less compared with the RM40mil this year. Scenario A: “Our sheer bad luck to buy into an apartment that has now been declared as ‘abandoned’. We have to continue to service the interest to the bank especially when the bank has progressively released...Read More

Of speculators and bogus house buyers

Immediate government measures are needed to tackle issue “Harga Rumah Melampau” – that’s the desperate cry of the rakyat against skyrocketing house prices as headlined by one of the widely-read Bahasa Malaysia newspapers. In English, it translates to “House prices are ridiculous”. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has consistently called for government intervention to prevent a “homeless generation of young adult Malaysians” from emerging, especially in urban and sub-urban areas, who, if not for wild speculation, would be able to buy their own houses. In time, Malaysia will face a “social crisis” with serious political implications if the majority of the lower and middle-income groups do not have affordable houses. The matter is of grave urgency because the homeless hail from the...Read More

New doesn’t mean perfect

Complaint One “I received the keys to our home and to our dismay, the property had many defects, ranging from minor problems to major misalignment of the walls and beams. The developer is rectifying the minor defects but is not willing to ‘align’ the walls or beams that have been placed improperly. How can I have the process for rectification expedited as we have paid in full and are still unable to occupy the house?” Complaint Two “The floor tiles in my apartment’s living room are not properly fixed. When one walks over them, they give a certain hollow sound. There are at least 30 floor tiles with this problem. Also, the edges of the walls where the tiles meet were not properly done. I submitted a complaint form, but the developer has not done anything to rectify them. Now, it’s been almo...Read More

Making housing affordable to the rakyat

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) acknowledges the challenges faced by the prime minister in tabling Budget 2017 in view of the slowdown in the global and regional economies and steep drop of the ringgit. HBA’s wish list to stem excessive speculation in the property sector that had caused the unbridled escalation of property prices will remain. We must also continue to challenge some ill-concocted ideas that may prey on the government’s laxity. It was for this purpose that HBA accepted the Ministry of Finance’s invitation early this month to table a paper entitled Affordable Housing: How the Rakyat could own it? in a focus group dialogue with all stakeholders, both government and private. The government now seems to be serious about doing something. If so, it has to make several ...Read More

Make Kampung Baru a PR1MA Malay suburb

THE 1Malaysia People Housing Programme (PR1MA) is a government initiative with the promise of an affordable home for every couple that deserves it and meets its criteria. The Government’s main contribution to ensuring affordability is its land, which is a significant subsidy. It is necessary for the organisation to have clear criteria for these affordable homes. PR1MA will have to be comprehensive in all aspects of house purchase: criteria for qualifying, build and sell; types of houses, the exclusion of commercial properties, the grievance redressal regime between purchaser and PR1MA, controls over sub-sale and, of course, appropriate sanctions for dishonesty in dealings with PR1MA. They must build the right product at the right place with the right pricing and the right numbers. Already,...Read More