Set up agency to resolve Borneo Samariang housing project problems

Set up agency to resolve Borneo Samariang housing project problems

Insect Chengren

KUCHING (September 23): The state government has been urged to step in and appoint an agency to take over Phase 5 of Borneo Samarian Gardens, which was supposed to be fully completed two years ago.

Buyers of the housing project told Democratic Action Party Sarawak Chairman Teo Kian Jen that developer Sentoria Borneo Land Sdn Bhd is in the midst of a corporate debt restructuring plan and seems unable to complete the housing project in the short term.

According to him, Phase 5 includes 154 houses priced between RM200,000 and RM350,000, and the sale and purchase agreement (S&P) was signed in 2017 and 2018.

“According to S&P, developers should complete the houses and obtain the Occupation Permit (OP) within 24 months from the date of the agreement, and the houses should be completed and obtained the OP by 2019 or early 2020 at the latest.

“However, developers stopped working around the fourth quarter of 2019, which was before the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time, developers claimed that most of the houses were 95% complete, and less than 20 houses were 80% complete.

“Since then, the project has been pretty much abandoned and nothing has progressed. Covid-19 should not be an excuse,” he told a news conference.

Chong said homebuyers continued to pay installment payments and home loan interest but were deprived of the benefits of the homes they purchased.

In addition to their housing loans, many of them have to pay rent for other accommodation, he said.

“To make matters worse, many homes have had their electrical wiring, sliding doors, metal gates that were previously installed, stolen because the site was abandoned by developers and there was no security around for more than two years,” he said.

He said he had written to Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari asking the state government to step in to resolve the matter.

“It doesn’t take a lot of money from the government to complete the project because most of the houses are basically completed.”

He said most of the buyers were government servants who had applied for home loans from the Public Sector Housing Finance Authority (LPPSA) and Borneo Mortgage Finance Sdn Bhd (Borneo Housing).

Given that, he said the state government should have no trouble asking the two banks to suspend lending.

“So far, Borneo Housing has only offered a moratorium on payments to buyers who have paid up to 80% of the purchase price. As for those who have paid up to 95% of the purchase price, no moratorium has been offered. This differential treatment simply does not make any sense.

“If the state government stepped in to come up with a viable recovery plan, I’m pretty sure most private banking institutions would be willing to accede to that request,” he said.

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