Chong urges govt to step up pressure on Borneo Samariang Garden developer to hand over project

Chong (right) speaking at a press conference about the Borneo Samariang Garden housing project. Also seen is Yong.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 22: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen has urged the Sarawak government to flex its muscle to get the developer to assign the rights for Phase 5 Borneo Samariang Garden to the government to complete the project that will bring much needed relief to the 154 house purchasers.

Noting the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem was able to get the concession holder of Tun Salahuddin Bridge to give up its toll collection rights, Chong questioned why Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg could not do the same to help the house buyers who have been put in double jeopardy of having to not only repay their loans but also pay rental for accommodation while waiting for the completion of the housing project.

“Given that most of the houses (under Phase 5) had almost been completed, it would not need much injection of funds for the government to complete the project.

“Furthermore, the balance of the purchase price to be paid upon completion would amount to more than RM2 million which can be recovered once the project is completed,” he highlighted in a press conference at DAP headquarters here today.

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong was also present.

Chong revealed he had written a letter which was received by the Office of the Premier of Sarawak on Sept 20, 2022 to convey the grievances of the purchasers and appeal for the government’s intervention to help resolve their problem.

Noting that the developer has indicated its intention to complete the project, Chong, who is also Padungan assemblyman, however doubts that the developer can fork out the funds needed to complete the project, given that the developer is in deep debt and is currently under a corporate debt restructuring scheme.

“As the government of the day, I have every confidence that if the government is truly minded to take over the project, the developer will give in. It is a matter of will.

“But so far, we did not see the manifestation of such will from the government through the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, leaving the purchasers high and dry to fend for themselves,” he said.

He also urged the government to negotiate with the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA), Borneo Mortgage Finance Berhad (Borneo Housing) and private financial institutions for a moratorium on interest charges and loan repayments of the house buyers.

“So far, Borneo Housing only proposed a moratorium for those purchasers who have paid up to 80 per cent of the purchase price. As for those who have paid up to 95 per cent of the purchase price, no moratorium was offered.

“Such differential treatment makes no sense at all. Furthermore, it provides no assistance to those non-Borneo Housing borrowers,” he added.

Unless the State government steps in to proactively assist the purchasers, Chong said they will most likely be left in their present dire situation for years to come. — DayakDaily