• He acknowledged that KPKT and the state authorities are still facing challenges in addressing this issue, including detecting individuals who may build housing units in rural and suburban areas, and in pocket developments where the scale of the project is small and may go undetected.

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia urged the government to remain vigilant and take measures to the full extent permissible by law against individuals masking as developers, to curb the country’s illegal projects that could lead to abandonment.

In a press statement issued by Rehda Malaysia president Datuk NK Tong on Tuesday, he stated that Rehda Malaysia was heartened that authorities including law enforcement are taking action to reprimand these individuals, to protect the rakyat from these unscrupulous activities.

However, he acknowledged that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) and the state authorities are still facing challenges in addressing this issue, including detecting individuals who may build housing units in rural and suburban areas, and in pocket developments where the scale of the project is small and may go undetected.

He added that there is also the possibility that the units are misrepresented and built under the pretence that they are for the builder’s self-dwelling purposes. In some cases, these individuals masking as developers are also operating without any advertising permit and developer’s licence (APDL), thus Tong said tracking them is understandably hard.

In addition, Tong stressed that these projects would not have progressed and would eventually be abandoned without the complicity of errant lawyers and loan officers.

“Legal services and loan financing offers should have been halted for projects without approved APDLs, and we believe that the responsibility should fall under these lawyers and loan officers to report such activities to the authorities. Their involvement should be investigated, and action should also be taken against them and others who play their part in abetting such crimes,” he said. 

As this issue negatively affects the property industry’s stakeholders, Tong said Rehda Malaysia is keen to engage and work with KPKT, relevant state authorities and the police to curb illegal projects that could lead to further abandonment.

“We are confident [that] should all parties work together toward this effort, these illegal activities will no longer be a part of the property industry landscape, moving forward. Rehda will continue to encourage our members to uphold our nation-building role of providing quality, affordable homes for the rakyat in a timely manner,” Tong added. 

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