JOHOR BARU, Feb 19 — The Housing and Local Government Ministry has allowed an extension of time (EOT) until March this year for developers who fail to complete their projects on time as a result of the movement control order (MCO).

Its minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said that an earlier EOT was granted from March to December last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and MCO.

“Previously, we allowed the EOT to developers with reasonable grounds due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, if the development project is scheduled to be completed before March 2020, it is not included in the conditions that allow for the EOT and the developer has to compensate the house buyer by paying liquidated damages (LAD),” said Zuraida today.

She said this during a media conference after the Taman Seri Molek Persana Phase 1 and PPR Taman Perling homes handover ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Johor Baru today.

Also present was Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Mutallib, Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Ayub Jamil and Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis.

On the issue of Program Perumahan Rakyat (People’s Housing Programme) owners who rented their residence to foreigners, Zuraida assured that several state governments have already taken action.

“For example, the Johor state government conducts a checking process to ensure that only those who are truly deserving are allowed to occupy it,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ayub said that the state government is conducting checks on the issue and has identified 70 per cent who are eligible to occupy the People’s Housing Programme, thus meeting the conditions set.

He said the remainder 30 per cent were not eligible because the tenants were involved in crime as they entered the house by intrusion or the original owner had rented out to others including foreigners.

“The state secretary of the Johor Housing Division is taking action. This means that after this there will be no more related issues,” said Ayub.