GEORGE TOWN: A day after the father of Sungai Pinang DAP assemblyman Lim Siew Khim was implicated in a scandal for allegedly soliciting money with the promise of getting people low-cost and affordable housing, another similar case has surfaced in Penang.
A “cut queue scheme” victim who said he had been on the waiting list for nearly 10 years, told The Star he was referred to an “agent” by a former special assistant of a local elected rep.
Leo Tan said the “agent” had even met him at a Komtar canteen frequented by civil servants back in 2014 and many state government staff seemed to know the man. It was at the canteen that Tan paid the man RM10,000.
A few months after handing over the money, Tan said the man called him to say that the approval had been granted but he needed to pay another RM20,000 to finalise it.
He refused to do so after realising he had been duped.
Tan said he tried looking for the man and had sought out the elected rep’s special assistant. The assistant had resigned and both men had gone missing since early this year.
“My parents applied for a low-cost flat on the mainland more than 30 years ago but never got it.
“I am now in my 40s and never owned a home. I don’t want to be like my parents who had to wait until they were in their 70s and 80s,” said Tan.
He said he applied for a RM200,000 unit in George Town and wondered why he was on the waiting list for so long even though he was eligible for it.
“The man told me if I didn’t pay up, I would always be on the waiting list. Until today, I am still looking for that former special assistant.”
When told of the matter, state Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said these victims should contact the police.
He said incidents of such nature had occurred before, the most recent being reported in March.
“Three individuals made police reports against brokers who promised them public housing units with a certain amount being paid upfront.
“According to the police, one of them has been charged in court with cheating,” he said.
There are 35,229 Penangites on the waiting list for affordable homes. Those on the island are priced below RM400,000 and those on the mainland below RM250,000.