By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, March 10: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen today urged the developer of a housing project, which is under the PR1MA (Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia) Housing Scheme, to give discounts or rebates to its existing house buyers.
He said it was not fair for the developer to only now give a 10 per cent discount and 20 per cent rebate for the houses to future buyers since it is under the PR1MA affordable housing project, while the earlier buyers are now each contractually bounded to pay the full RM300,000 for the house.
“Such a discount also bring to light a very serious question. One, the prices offered previously are obviously overpriced. PR1MA was introduced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government on the pretext and excuse that it was supposed to provide home ownership to the poor.
“As such, government does subsidise some of the cost, like land. They subsidise the project to bring the price lower so that the poor can afford to buy and own a house. But as usual, such novel policies of BN always come together with unreasonable profits for its cronies.
“We don’t dispute that in any business venture, a businessman needs to make a profit. But what we question is for such a subsidised project they are making huge unreasonable profits.
“So much so that the houses offered under PR1MA by the then BN government is so expensive that the poor cannot buy. So now after we took over the government, there is now this 30 per cent discount,” he said today when commenting on the 10 per cent discount and 20 per cent rebate for PR1MA houses being sold at Bintawa Riverview.
Chong also blamed Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) for vigorously promoting the houses to the public a while back, asking everybody to take the opportunity to buy the houses as the prices were very affordable.
He assured that the Pakatan Harapan government would try its best to help those who had bought houses there.
“Some of them have signed the contract and they are bound to buy these houses at the inflated prices. But we, PH government, will try our best to fight for them, to liaise with the ministry and developer. More importantly, to see the developer to seek a reduction or rebate of the price they (buyers) had agreed to buy.
“There is no promise it can be achieved because, basically, when you enter into a contract you are bound by the contractual terms. You cannot say you don’t know what you signed for.
“Anyone who wants to seek rebate of the agreed price can contact Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong. Bring your documents and papers in the next few days. We will try to bring it up to my ministry so that the ministry will talk to the developer,” Chong assured. — DayakDaily