Chong: Sarawak govt should stop financiers of abandoned Sentoria housing project from charging buyers interest on loans

Chong (in white shirt) flanked by Yong on his right in discussion with the affected house buyers.

KUCHING, Aug 16: The Sarawak government should have stopped the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA) and Borneo Housing Mortgage Finance Berhad from charging the house buyers interest on their loans for the abandoned Sentoria Borneo Samariang Garden housing project.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen said as the government of the day, it is the responsibility of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to come forward during such times of distress to help the purchasers.

“Instead of doing videos on social media for self-publicity, (Dato Sri Dr) Sim Kui Hian, as the Minister for Housing, should spend more time doing his job under the Ministry of Housing.

“It is most unacceptable for the State government to push the purchasers around and shirk their responsibility as the government of the day. To-date, the Minister for Housing has also not taken any effective step to help these affected purchasers,” he said in a statement today.

According to Chong, a group of house purchasers of the Sentoria housing project have today sought help from him and Padungan assemblywoman Violet Yong over the long delay in the housing development project.

The Padungan assemblyman also noted that the housing project was developed in several phases with those who bought the houses under Phases 5 and 7 found that their houses were long over the due dates for completion.

“As a result, the purchasers are compelled to pay their loan installments while not having the benefit of staying in the houses.

“The house purchasers had previously sought the help of the Ministry of Housing but were told to wait for the developer to complete the project. The developer has since closed its office in Kuching,” he emphasised.

Chong also raised that when the Sentoria housing project was first launched many years ago, the then Chief Minister of Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was there to officiate the launching.

“His presence at the event gave many the confidence to buy the houses. Yet, when trouble lurked and the project was long delayed, the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government shirked their responsibility to help the purchasers.

“Given the long delay by the developer in the completion of the housing project, the State government should step in to undertake the same,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had on May 5 this year announced that the Sarawak government will take over the problematic Sentoria housing project from the developer which has abandoned the project following internal problems.

The project was originally supposed to be completed in 2019.

On May 6, Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication and Pantai Damai assemblyman Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi explained that the redevelopment of the Sentoria housing project will be carried out in phases beginning with the low-cost and affordable housing especially buyers who have signed the Sales and Purchase agreement and started to repay their loans.

He added that they will also discuss with the Ministry for Housing to help the affected house buyers to rearrange their loan repayment. — DayakDaily