Housing account freeze lifted, Sentoria Borneo Land to continue Borneo Samariang Resort City project until completion

A photo depicting the facilities at Borneo Samariang Resort City. Photo credit: robinstolk89, TripAdvisor

KUCHING, Aug 19: Housing developer Sentoria Borneo Land Sdn Bhd (SBLSB) is committed to complete the abandoned Borneo Samariang Resort City (BSRC) project in Petra Jaya after OCBC Bank lifted the temporary freeze on the company’s Housing Development Account (HDA).

Office Of Deputy Premier and the Minister For Public Health, Housing and Local Government (MPHLG) Sarawak said however, the bank insisted on having the claims submitted by SBLSB to be meticulously reviewed by their appointed monitoring accountant.

“The release of the funds shall also be subject to certain condition for the pre-release and the post-release of the HDA funds being complied by SBLSB,” it said in a statement today.

The Office further explained that having been required to comply with the intricate processes, this have led to the delay in payment released by the bank to the sub-contractors.

“If the first batch of claims already took five months to be released by the bank, at this current rate, SBLSB would have to bear the high cost of operations incurred while having limited financial resources.

“As a result of the delay in payment, the sub-contractors have ceased work at site making the progress to be very unproductive. Some had also vacated the site due to non-payment.

At the same time, the Sarawak government through MPHLG has been conducting a series of engagement with SBLSB which included several meetings with the representatives of the affected house purchasers of BSRC project, agencies and deputy ministers.

On June 14, 2022, a meeting co-chaired by MPHLG Deputy Minister Michael Tiang Ming Tee and Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, had highlighted the issue on financial assistance provided to the affected house purchasers involving public servants to the State Financial Secretary’s Office (SFS), Borneo Housing Mortgage Finance Berhad (BHMFB) and Lembaga Pembiayaan Perumahan Sektor Awam (LPPSA).

“Up until now, LPPSA and BHMFB have given a certain relaxation to the terms of loan repayment to house purchasers who are affected by the project delay.

“It has been informed by SFS that they are still considering certain measures to address the matter regarding the loans,” the statement continued.

In the same statement, the Office of MPHLG also criticised Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong Wui Wui for their earlier statements regarding the BSRC project following a group of house purchasers seeking their assistance in the matter.

“Without seeking further information and verifying facts with MPHLG about the progress of the project, all they did was issue a press statement falsely blaming the Sarawak government for pushing the purchasers around and not taking any effective steps.”

The MPHLG also reiterated that it welcomes the house purchasers to contact them instead for inquiries on the steps taken by the State government in assisting them in the delayed progress of the project.

Borneo Samariang Resort City project is a private housing development undertaken by SBLSB which was issued with the Housing Development License under the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Ordinance 2013 in 2016.

The housing project was supposed to be completed in 2019, but its construction has been abandoned following internal problems.

On May 5 this year, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had announced that the Sarawak government will take over the problematic housing project beginning with redevelopment phases involving low-cost and affordable housing. – DayakDaily