Middlemen scammed us over low-cost housing, claim Kepong residents

Kepong dubious property

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 7): A group of Kepong residents claim to have fallen victim to scams by dubious property middlemen and agents, who they say are selling the new low-cost people’s housing project (PPR) Kepong units near Jinjang Utara Longhouse.

Kepong Community Centre head Yee Poh Ping said that 15 residents had fallen victim after paying a fee on the promise of securing a PPR unit.

“These middlemen claim they have connection with the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) as well as Kuala Lumpur City Hall. In the advert they distribute around Kepong, they say that each unit cost RM88,000,” he said, adding that having checked with City Hall the centre found out the adverts were fake.

Yee said that, when contacted, the middlemen would ask the prospective house buyer to pay them RM46,000 in cash, while the remaining RM42,000 could be paid by loans from City Hall.

Kepong resident Sin Chui Hua, 42, said that she received the advert in her letterbox and decided to call.

“A woman claiming to be an agent told me that I would need to have at least RM40,000 in cash ready, if I want to purchase the unit,” she said.

Sin said that, when she asked if she could see the unit, the agent was hesitant and insisted on meeting her in person elsewhere first.

“She wanted to meet me and discuss payment details first. She did not want to show me the place,” she said.

Sin said, when she asked the agent how she was able to get units in the PPR, the agent said that she had a connection in City Hall.

“I told her that I went to City Hall and asked but was told there were no units available in that particular PPR. The agent said it didn’t matter because she had connection within City Hall. I insisted on seeing the place, but she kept refusing, so I knew she was lying,” she said.

Yee said that some of the residents who were duped lost money ranging from RM10,000 to RM40,000.

“They (victims) didn’t want to come today (Sept 6) because they were scared,” he said.

Yee said that City Hall needed to ensure that 1,300 of the 1,600 available units of the new housing project, would be reserved for residents of the longhouse.

“Now the authorities say the project here will be completed by the end of the year, so they need to ensure that the remaining 300 units are assigned to people who have already applied to City Hall for housing. City Hall should not simply sell it to the public,” he said.

According to Yee, the PPR project, which began in 2011 and was supposed to be completed by 2014, was meant to house residents in Jinjang Utara Longhouse.

Kepong dubious property“The residents were squatters but were moved here by City Hall more than 20 years ago. They were also promised housing, but they are still waiting,” he said.

“There is supposed to be another meeting where they will confirm and maybe issue a letter to the residents confirming it is going to be rented or it is going to be sold, but we are still waiting for that,” he said.

Longhouse resident A. Kannan, 63, said that he had applied for housing to City Hall two years ago but had still not received a reply.

“We haven’t been kept informed at all, the project is almost complete and they should let us know,” he said.

The Star previously reported National Housing Department (JPN) chief assistant director Fakhrul Radzi Salamat saying that out of the 1,600 units available, 1,300 had been reserved for the longhouse residents, while the use of the remaining 300 units were still undecided.

“All the units will be rented out for RM124 for now,” he had told the longhouse residents’ representatives.

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