Home > News > Nation
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 7:09:35 AM
by ong han sean
KUANTAN: Seven people have lodged police reports, claiming they have been tricked into buying columbarium niches in a huge project but the developer maintains that its plan is above board.
The seven went to the police on Saturday about the so-called 1Malaysia Spiritual Tourism project which was supposed to feature a “resort” with a multi-cultural environment in Gambang.
Businesswoman Cheong Yin Kuan, 66, said she was introduced to the project by its developer Enchant Acres during a dinner here on Sept 16.
“There was a talk and they offered columbarium niches which they said would increase in value in a few years. So I bought the 10-niche ‘Emperor’ package priced at RM17,500 and was given a certificate,” she said.
Cheong claimed that she inquired about the land status after checking the company’s background later.
Apparently, the state government had not granted the 250-acre land, where the project was supposed to be built, to anyone.
A video on the company’s website said the project would feature the biggest pyramid, Guanyin statue, Guanyin temple, shopping mall and columbarium in the world.
It offers five million columbarium niches at RM12,000 each.
When contacted, one of Enchant Acres’ directors Datuk Dr Allan Ho said the company had been offered the land as a joint venture with a construction firm, but the premium had not been settled yet.
“We have been granted an extension date to pay the premium. The fact that it is not paid yet does not mean it is illegal.
“And of course the state government does not know about this project since it is in the conceptual stage and not even launched yet,” he said.
Ho said in order to raise funds, Enchant Acres was creating public awareness to promote the project.
“Now, we are offering a discounted price to our columbarium niches which is limited to 200,000 units only. As to why the cheques are issued to me (and not to the company), it’s because I’m a reseller.
“There are resellers all over the country who have pre-booked the niches in advance from the company and then the public can buy it from us,” he explained.
Another of those who lodged a police report was housewife Chan Siew Tee, 63, who claimed she invested RM16,500 on 10 niches after hearing a talk organised by the developer in August.
She said there was no receipt of purchase until she pestered the company, which subsequently issued a receipt and a certificate which appeared to have been printed on a piece of A4 paper.
Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang said he had checked with the Pahang state secretary’s office, which said that the project did not exist.
He said the developer had also advertised the project, naming a construction company as its main contractor.
“I met with the director of the construction firm. He was surprised to find out his company’s name had been used in such a manner. He said his company had nothing to do with the project at all,” Sim claimed.
Sim claimed that the customers were told to write their cheques to the director and not the company.
It is learnt that the police interviewed several investors yesterday in connection with the reports lodged.
Tags / Keywords:
Property, 1Malaysia Spiritual Tourism, alleged fraud, Datuk Allan Ho
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)