Penang low-cost housing applicants cry foul after offers pulled

Abdul Hamid Mydin showing the letter from the state government, October 4, 2016. ― Picture by KE Ooi
Abdul Hamid Mydin showing the letter from the state government, October 4, 2016. ― Picture by KE Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, Oct 4 ― Twelve applicants for low-cost homes here are demanding that the state government reinstate the offers they received for units at Taman Seri Anggun in Sungai Nibong to them.

The group claimed the offers were rescinded by the state government without justification.

One of the 12, Hamid Khan Md Sharif, told a press conference that they had applied for low cost housing units through the state government sometime between 2013 and 2014.

“They had received official letters from the state housing department offering them units at Taman Seri Anggun on September 9, 2015,” he said.

The applicants later received a second letter from the developer, JKP Sdn Bhd, on September 17, informing them of the state government’s approval for them to purchase the units at RM42,000 each.

“We were told to go to the developer’s office to draw lots to pick our units on September 29 but when we went to the office, the developer told us the housing department had told them to stop and asked us to go home to wait for further instructions,” he said.

Hamid Khan said there was no news from the state government until almost a year later when they received a letter from the housing department instructing them to submit official compensation agreements within 14 days, failing which the offers will be cancelled.

“Exactly 14 days later, we received another letter stating that the offer was cancelled because we had failed to furnish the agreements but this does not make sense because we did not apply as squatters seeking compensation,” he said.

Hamid Khan stressed that all 12 of them had applied through normal procedures to buy low cost homes and they were not demanding for compensation units.

“All of us are renting houses, we wanted to buy the low cost units at Taman Seri Anggun as it is near where we all now live so it is only fair that the state government reinstate the offer,” he said.

The group's spokesman, Abdul Hamid Mydin said they had repeatedly asked to meet with state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo over this issue but were turned away.

“The applicants are all victims of this bureaucratic system. The state government must explain why they approved the applications and offered us the units to later cancel the offer. They must rectify this and reinstate the offer for these applicants,” he said.

When contacted, Jagdeep said the units at Taman Seri Anggun were meant for relocation of squatters so applicants for units there must furnish the housing department with the compensation agreement to be entitled to the units.

“They were approved under the relocation category but we later discovered there was no compensation agreement. If under normal category, they have to be in the waiting list,” he said.

The housing committee chairman said the group can reapply under the normal list where there is a waiting list.

“They have to go through normal process, no priority,” he said.

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