S’wak developers call for LPPSA to forgo early land premium settlement on houses for federal civil servants

Dato Sim Kiang Chiok

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KUCHING, April 26: Sarawak developers are calling upon the Public Sector Housing Financing Board (LPPSA) to forgo its new requirement on the sales of houses to federal civil servants nationwide where land premiums must be settled before any development.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok said the new regulation has caused a halt in progress payments since end of last year and this would eventually lead to severe cashflow problems for developers.

“In our housing industry, our recovery from the Covid-19 destruction is slow but processing well, however there is a large segment of the property home purchasers from federal government civil servants who are facing a problem in their repayments to the houses they purchased and financed by LPPSA.

“There are no progress payments made since end of last year when suddenly the Board set an extra requirement on showing proof that the land conversion premium are being paid to our land office by the developers,” he said in a statement today.

As many purchasers are not meeting the scheduled progress payments, he said the developers could only proceed to charge for late payments and this would lead to higher costs for the purchasers.

Developers on the other hand, he said, would soon face cashflow issues in this already bad situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic where business volumes are low.

Sim added that this requirement was never needed before 2020 and, prior to this, land premiums only need to be paid at the end of a project or staggered according to fixed milestones of a development.

He also noted that Sarawak Land and Survey Department has made clarifications with the Board that the developments in Sarawak are unique on its own where approved projects before 2018 do not require early settlements of the premiums.

He said even in the latest requirement by Land and Survey in 2018, land premiums are only required to be paid when the survey works are completed on the development projects.

“Why change the wheels when it have worked for years, in this pandemic not only the virus is affecting the federal civil servants owing a home but human bureaucratic process is doing more than necessary.

“It is our hopes that this impasse can be corrected quickly by the Board so that the federal civil servants can own their homes quickly and without any extra costs,” he said. — DayakDaily