Saturday, March 25

Claims tribunal adjourns house defects case indefinitely


KUCHING: A house-defect case before the Sarawak House Buyers Claims Tribunal was yesterday adjourned indefinitely when a witness, also the housing developer’s plumber, could not attend the hearing.

Maznah with Bexter (left) and Alhadi fielding questions from reporters after the tribunal proceeding.

Tribunal president Dato Maznah Dasmi, who sat with Alhadi Ibrahim and Bexter Agas Micheal, said in the meantime the claimant and developer could still settle the matter outside.

House owner Gerald Lee, 28, had filed a claim against the developer after the water tank above the ceiling in the master bedroom’s toilet fell.

Lee, a civil engineer, argued that the two untreated wooden planks placed above the ceiling were unable to support the 1,000-litre water tank.

When the tank fell, he said, the master bedroom and toilet in his house at Jalan Bako were flooded. Some appliances in toilet were also damaged.

Lee then lodged a complaint with the developer, and the developer repaired most of the damage inflicted, including repainting the affected wall.

But it was understood that the developer declined to compensate Lee for the damaged bedroom set and water heater, worth a total of RM5,700.

On Lee’s claim that there were only two wooden planks to support the water tank, a representative of the developer insisted the tank was supported by three two-inch by four-inch wooden planks.

The representative said the plumber could testify to this, but the plumber could not make it to the hearing.

He suspected someone had removed a wooden plank when installing the water heater in Lee’s house, and this weakened the tank’s support base.

To ascertain whether there were two or three planks, the proceeding was postponed temporarily to enable tribunal staff to visit Lee’s house to determine the actual number.

When the proceeding resumed, the tribunal was told there were two-and-a-half wooden planks.