‘Still no strata titles for HDC flats built from 1997 to 2005’

KUCHING: A total of 11,236 units of affordable flats completed by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) from 1997 to 2005 have still not been issued strata titles.
This was revealed in a written reply from the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.
Speaking at a press conference here yesterday, Chong said he received the written answer on Wednesday to a question he posed during the DUN sitting last month.
Based on the reply, the delay on the issuance of strata titles was due to non-compliance on the approved plan by the contractors and illegal extension by flat owners, he said.
“It is tainted reputation for any contractor that strata titles are not issued after three years of completion.
“According to this written reply, RPR (Rancangan Perumahan Rakyat) 5th Mile Matang was completed in 1997 and, after 20 years, strata titles are still not issued,” he added.
Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP and Democratic Action Party (DAP) state chairman, asked how the government could expect the private sector to uphold professionalism and ethical practices now that its own agency – HDC – had failed so many affordable flat owners.
He said it made no sense for the government to just cite ‘non-compliance on the approved plan by the contractors and illegal extension by flat owners’ as among the reasons on the delay of issuing strata titles.
“So many flat owners have paid the money but the titles are not issued. HDC and the government should see that the titles are issued,” he added.
He pointed out that the contractors were appointed by HDC to implement those projects and flat owners should not be penalised for the ‘non-compliance on the approved plan by the contractors’. Without strata titles, Chong said flat owners would not have clear-cut ownership as the land registry had yet to register them as owners.
“This means they are equitable owners in law, and not legal owners. It is the basic expectation of house owners to be issued the title as this is part and parcel of property ownership,” he stressed.
He reminded that Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was Housing Minister for many years before being sworn in as the sixth chief minister of Sarawak.
“And now (Datuk) Dr Sim (Kui Hian) is the (Local Government and) Housing Minister. I hope the two of them can sit down, discuss and resolve this problem,” Added Chong.
The reply laid down a total of 14 HDC affordable flats projects completed between 1997 and 2005.
Apart from the RPR 5th Mile Matang, there others are RPR Demak Laut (completed in 1998), RPR Tondong Batu Kawa (completed in 1999), RPR Jalan Arang and RPR Sungai Plan Bintulu (completed in 2000), RPR 13th Mile, Kuching-Serian Road, RPR 6th Mile Matang, RPR 8th Mile Matang, RPR 9th Mile Matang and RPR Matang Malihah 2 (completed in 2001), RPR Permyjaya, Miri (completed in 2002), RPR Matang KOT 12946 and RPR Sibu Jaya (completed in 2004) and RPR Susur Jambu Sarikei (completed in 2005).
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