Monday, November 24, 2008

Buyers form committee to get back money

KUALA LUMPUR: Buyers of the abandoned CN Gallery and Nas Pavillion projects in Jalan Imbi have decided to form an action committee to get back their deposit money.

The decision was made at a meeting attended by some of the buyers and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng in Pudu on Saturday.It was also proposed that the buyers lodge a report with the anti corruption agency on the abandoned projects.Fong said: "The action committee will seek the help of the finance ministry."

He said he raised the issue of the abandoned Nas Pavillion project in parliament on Oct 22.Fong said about 30 per cent of the buyers were from countries such as Japan, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and the Middle East."The abandoned project has tarnished the image of the country and it is only proper that the government helps those affected to get back their money," he added.Nas Pavillion was launched in 2004 to revive the abandoned CN Gallery commercial project which started 10 years ago.

There were 400 buyers in the initial project and 200 in the subsequent one which was also abandoned.Fong said purchasers of units in the CN Gallery project had received 24.6 per cent of their deposit while the bank which held the mortgage for Nas Pavillion was willing to pay back 10 per cent of the purchasers' deposit."The full amount of the deposit paid by the buyers plus interest should be paid to them. When the CN Gallery project was started, land cost in the Bukit Bintang area was RM200 to RM300 per sq foot.Now, in the Golden Triangle where the site is located, land prices are between RM1,500 and RM2,000 per sq foot.

"So, if the bank sells the land, they can receive much more and therefore should be paying the deposit and interest to the buyers in full,".Fong pointed out that in his reply in parliament to Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique, he had said that the government did not have a mechanism or special power to ensure that private developers complete their abandoned projects.

"If innocent buyers of abandoned projects are to be helped, then amendments are needed to the housing act."Lim said buyers of abandoned projects were always on the losing end."Our laws do not protect property buyers adequately. We need to come up with reforms to the housing act to safeguard the interests of buyers," Lim reiterated.


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