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Residents mull legal action against developer

by Jeremy Veno, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on October 29, 2012, Monday

DISAPPOINTED: Lo (second right) speaking to Hilarion (third right) and JKKK members after the dialogue session at Country Hill Apartment yesterday.

KUCHING: Residents of Country Hill Apartment here has been left high and dry by the project developer who, among others, had absconded with their RM23,000 for utility bills settlement.

The owner of the land upon which the project was built and the construction company had also bumped into issues with this developer – Maspoh Sdn Bhd, which is now defunct.

The residents are now contemplating taking legal action.

The 128-unit apartment, which houses more than 400 people, has been stuck in this fiasco since May last year when the developer, who also operates the management office, abandoned them and left behind disconnection notices from the Kuching Water Board (KWB) and Sesco.

Country Hill’s village security and development committee (JKKK) spokesperson Peter Ng claimed that Maspoh was sued by the construction company in 2008 for RM300,000.

Speaking during a dialogue session between JKKK members and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) yesterday, Ng added that Maspoh used to be based in Pending, before moving to Nanas Road.

But its office in Nanas Road was also said to have been vacated.

He said Country Hill JKKK planned to drag the owner of Maspoh to court to get back their missing money, and also to iron out strata title and sinking fund issues.

“We are also facing problems in selling our units as Sales and Purchase agreements require the consent of Maspoh Sdn Bhd,” Ng lamented.

Meanwhile, landowner Hilarion Bisi Jinggot, who has put a caveat on his five-acre land for Maspoh to construct the apartment and the adjacent 10 terrace houses, was also an unsuspecting victim.

“I registered a caveat onto my land to Maspoh Sdn Bhd for them to mortgage for a sum of RM3 million to complete the construction. After completion, I was supposed to own 15 per cent of the completed units, including one corner lot of the terrace houses,” claimed Hilarion.

However, it was all merely a utopian dream as the developer soon sold off some of his units without his consent.

Hilarion said he went to court and won the case.

“My lawyers are still in the process of regaining ownership of the apartment back to me,” said Hilarion.

MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang said the fiasco had left him very disappointed.

He said he hoped that the current housing legislation would be amended to prevent unscrupulous developers from causing harm to so many people.

“I hope the relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Housing, will review the legislation.”

Lo added for MPP to help the affected residents, its JKKK must rope in more members in order to fight with one voice.

He told those present that KWB and Sesco would not disconnect their water and electric supplies as the government was a responsible one.

“All of you should not worry as KWB and Sesco will not take any drastic action,” assured Lo.

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