Housing Developers Act: Further amendments needed to effectively protect
house buyers' interest
by Kerk Kim Hock
(Petaling Jaya, Monday):
The Housing Developers
(Control and Licensing) (Amendment) Act 2001 has finally come into effect
yesterday after Parliament debated the amendments about 12 months ago. No
explanation was given for such long delay.
The Housing Minister Datuk Ong Ka Ting has said that the amended Act was
passed by Parliament and had taken into consideration of all views and the
amendments were therefore fair and just to all parties.
This is not true unless Ong was talking into the context that Parliament was
just a law legitimizing place and not a law-making place.
I call on the Housing Minister to consider further amending the Act by
taking into consideration criticisms of the Bill which surfaced when it was
presented for debate in the Parliament last year.
DAP MP for Bukit Bintang Sdr Fong Kui Lun, MP for Seputeh Sdri Teresa Kok
and I had taken part in the debate and put up our views which would better
protect the housebuyers interest.
We believe that the laws must be fair to both sides, the developers and the
house buyers. However, it is a fact that since Independence, the buyers have
always been at the losing end due to the weakness, inadequacy and loopholes
of the Housing Developers Act.
As such, the Minister must not ignore the DAP views ..
An example of the weakness, which I had then raised when debating on the
bill, related to new Section 8 A.
This new provision states that a licenced housing developer may apply to the
Minister for approval to terminate all the sale and purchase agreements
agreed into in respect of a housing development or any phase of a housing
development which the housing developer is engaged in, carries on or
undertakes or causes to be undertaken if-
1.. Six months after the execution of the sale and purchase agreements,
development of the housing accommodation in that housing development or
phase has not commenced; and
2.. At least seventy percent of all the purchasers who have entered into the
sale and purchase agreements have agreed with the housing developer in
writing to terminate the sale and purchase agreements
The two questions which the DAP had asked and which received no satisfactory
reply from the Housing Minister were:
1.. Why is it that only the developer may apply to have the sale and
purchase agreement terminated but the house buyers do not have such a
2.. Why is it that when the housing developer is directed to refund all
moneys to the purchasers within the period sated in the Minister's approval,
the refund is free of interest?
I also wish to express my regret that when making amendments to schedule G
(Standard Sale and Purchase agreement (Land and Building) and Schedule H
(Standard Sale and Purchase agreement (Subdivided Building), views were not
sought from DAP Members of Parliament who had shown keen interest in the
Housing Developer Act.
It is also regretted that although the amendments have taken effect since
yesterday, the government printers are still unable to supply legal firms
with the amended Schedules.
All legal firms therefore have to stop carrying out any transaction
involving sale and purchase of residential properties simply because they do
not have the amended standard sale and purchase agreement.
Although after checking with the Housing Ministry, I was told that the
amended Schedule G and H are available on the ministry's website, the
question which arises is that why when the Minister has announced that the
amended regulations will take effect on 1.12.2002, government printers are
still not ready to distribute amended rules to the legal firms?
* Kerk Kim Hock,
DAP Secretary General & MP for Kota Melaka