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Sunday, March 5, 2017

A lot to answer on housing extension: Yong

KOTA KINABALU - The Government has a lot to answer on why they had chosen to override the rights and interests of purchasers under housing development laws and Sales and Purchase Agreements by granting extension of time for completion without compensation.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee said so far, two cases have been reported, namely the Sri Istana in Kuala Lumpur, approved by the then Federal Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, and closer to home, the Light Residences in Penampang, where the illegal extension of time was approved by the Local Government and Housing Minister.

"The Sabah Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Enactment 1978 and various regulations are put in place to protect purchasers. It is beyond the powers of Ministers to override the protection granted under the law and the Sale and Purchase Agreements," he said.

Furthermore, Yong commented that the Light Residences development is not the only such case in Sabah.

On another case, he said he had written to both the Sabah Minister of Housing and the Attorney General last year to enquire under what power the Minister could grant such an approval of time, about purchasers' rights being jeopardised and whether the ministry will take responsibility for the late delivery of the houses.

"Citing 'client confidentiality', the Attorney General refused to answer. The Ministry Permanent Secretary belatedly, but erroneously, replied that the Minister had such power under Section 18(b) Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Enactment 1978.

"In fact, the intent and spirit of the enactment is there to protect consumers from the failures of developers, not the other way round.

"In light of two court judgements quashing the Housing Minister's 'approval' to grant developers an extension of time to complete a housing project beyond that provided for in the Sales and Purchase Agreement, the lawyers concerned at the Ministry and Attorney Chambers should go back to law school," he said.

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