Monday, September 21

Buyers in the lurch over abandoned apartment project

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KUCHING: Buyers of apartments at the abandoned Taman Sentosa project are placing their hope on the director-general of the Insolvency Department (DGI) to come up with a decision soon regarding the appointment of a private liquidator to take over the project.

The project located at 8½ Mile Penrissen Road has been abandoned by its developer Besthouse Development since 2007, after failing to deliver the project within the stipulated 3-year period.

“Sometime in 2007 the project stalled. No works were carried out and the project was soon abandoned.

“Most of the buyers had paid up to 90 per cent of the price through bank loans. In 2010, legal action was taken against the
developer to wind up the company.

“The company is now in the hands of the official receiver, which is the DGI,” said Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen at a press conference yesterday.

As the DGI could not continue with the project, the buyers sought the assistance of Chong to contact a private liquidator to take over the project.

“The liquidator agreed to help the victims of the abandoned project at no upfront charge and we held meetings with the DGI to formally appoint the private liquidator to take over the project.

“What is sad and unfair is that the developer decided to send in their representative and lawyer to the meetings and tried to stop the appointment of the said liquidator even though the developer could not deliver the project five years ago,” pointed out Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

He said the three meetings they held so far did not come up with any conclusive outcome.

“In law the developer has no right to appear at the meetings with the DGI, yet the DGI allowed them to be present.

“It seems that the DGI did not enforce his power to stop the developer’s representative and lawyer to appear,” he said.

Chong said the delay was causing unnecessary burden to the house buyers as they had to rent elsewhere while waiting for their houses to be completed.

“We are trying our best to help the victims by looking for the liquidator and offering pro bono legal fees, but there are loopholes in the law that allows developers to defeat the claims of the rightful buyers.

“The DGI must make a decision soon and there should be no manipulation of the law by the developer,” he stressed.

Taman Sentosa apartment project involves three four-storey blocks or 90 units of houses.