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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Iskandar: 30 projects in Selangor without proper licences

STATE Housing, Building Management and Squatters committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said there are at least 30 projects in Selangor that do not have proper building approvals or licences.

He said the cases were prevalent in Klang and Kuala Langat and that the state was in the midst of reviewing the projects.

“We are discussing whether these projects are viable or some modification are needed but with licensing, the onus is on the Housing and Local Government Ministry, who have the authority.

“Although the call by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan to have a more efficient model in approving construction permits is good, the one stop centre is already a simplified step.

“Many people find it difficult to get money for abandoned projects, especially when the ministry blacklists them, so when the developer wants to sell them, they can’t.

“We started with 141 abandon ed projects and later we discovered more but they cannot be resolved because there is no more money in the bank.

“Only 30% of the projects had white knights coming into the picture,” he said.

When asked about the effectiveness of the amendments to the Housing and Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 with regards to the Tribunal Court, Iskandar says it is a mere toothless tiger.

“Many people find it difficult to get money from the developer after it has gone to the Tribunal Court because there is a lack of enforcement or it is too limited.

“We are pushing for strata title type buildings to go to court but there only a few cases that do so.

“As far as the amendments to the Housing and Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 is concerned, it is good on paper but we will only be able to see it truly functioning once there is implementation.

“They say we can take the developers to jail. Well, we will have to wait and see it happen,” he said.

It was reported recently that the Housing and Local Government Ministry will revive 35 abandoned projects, involving 12,000 housing units, throughout the country this year.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung had said that their main Key Performance Index would focus on reviving the projects which mainly involved low-cost homes.

He said the Government had revived 84 abandoned housing projects since 2009 to help the lower income group own houses.

The HDA was initially known as the Housing Developers Act, which has seen several amendments over the years.

The last amendment was in 2011.

According to the ministry website, as of December last year, there were 235 problematic and delayed projects in Peninsular Malaysia, with Selangor leading the way with 86 and 15 projects respectively under the private housing sector.

In Kuala Lumpur, there were eight delayed and 11 problematic projects. As of February there were 16 abandoned housing projects identified for revival with new developers while 51 project were under revival either by the developer, rescuers or Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad.

By The Star

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