Sabah govt to help house buyers over troubled project in Tawau

Some of the homes at the Taman Sawit housing project which buyers claim was abandoned by the developer.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will look into the plight of 47 house buyers who say they have been unable to move into their homes in Tawau district despite buying the properties two years ago.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said his deputy permanent secretary had visited the housing project concerned at Phase 3A(2) Taman Sawit, Jalan Apas Balung on Tuesday (Aug 9).

Following the visit, he said, the ministry plans to meet with the landowner next week.

“The project is currently halted due to a legal issue between the landowner, a cooperative, and their JV (joint-venture) partner,” he said, when contacted on Wednesday (Aug 10).

The buyers had said on Monday (Aug 8) they were distraught after being unable to move into their houses, which they bought in 2019, claiming that it seemed as though the developer had abandoned the project.

They also claimed that the developer had kept silent when asked for an explanation.

One buyer, Azuana Hanapa, reportedly said the group still had to pay their monthly loan instalments to the bank but could not enjoy their new homes long after the keys were scheduled to be handed over.

According to Azuana, the construction was about 90% complete.

“We are appealing to the authorities to help resolve the matter as many of us had to resort to renting temporary homes elsewhere while waiting for this project to be finished,” he said.

Jumat Kassim, another buyer, said the matter had caused his family a great deal of distress and the developer had yet to meet them.

He said they could only watch helplessly as the almost-completed houses deteriorated, with some fittings even removed by thieves.

Insisting that the developer should take responsibility over the matter, he also urged the state government to step in and help the buyers.

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