KINABALU, March 5, 2017: The Sabah Minister of Local Government and
Housing and the Federal Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local
Government have a lot to answer on why they had chosen to over ride the
rights and interests of purchasers under housing development laws and
Sales and Purchase Agreements by granting extension of time for completion
It has been reported that one case involved a development (Sri Istana) in
Kuala Lumpur, approved by the then federal Minister of Urban Wellbeing,
Housing and Local Government. The case in Sabah is reportedly the Light
Residences in Penampang, the illegal extension of time of which was
approved by the Sabah Minister of Local Government and Housing.
The Sabah Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Enactment 1978 and
various regulations are put in place to protect purchasers. It is beyond
the powers of ministers to override the protection granted under the law
and the Sale and Purchase agreements.
Those government lawyers should go back to law school
The Light Residences development is not the only such case in Sabah.
On another case, I had written to both the Sabah Minister of Housing and
the Attorney General last year to enquire under what power that the
Minister could grant such an approval of time, about purchasers' rights
being jeopardised and whether the ministry will take responsibility for
the late delivery of the houses.
Citing "client confidentiality", the Attorney General refused to answer.
The Ministry Permanent Secretary belatedly, but erroneously, replied that
the Minister had such power under the Section 18(b) Housing Development
(Control and Licensing) Enactment 1978. In fact, the intent and spirit of
the enactment is there to protect consumers from the failures of
developers, not the other way round.
In the light of two court judgements quashing the Housing Minister's
"approval" to grant developers an extension of time to complete a housing
project beyond that provided for in the Sales and Purchase Agreement, the
lawyers concerned at the Ministry and Attorney Chambers should go back to
By Yong Teck Lee, SAPP
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