‘Minister can extend housing project deadline’
GEORGE TOWN: The urban wellbeing, housing and local government minister has the power to grant an extension of time (EOT) to developers.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the power was enshrined in Act 118 of the Housing Development Act.
He denied abusing his power when he was in the ministry by granting the EOT to a condo developer in Jalan Kuchai Lama here.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang on Tuesday claimed that the attorney-general’s wife, Puan Sri Faridah Begum KA Abdul Kader, had written a letter to Rahman requesting for EOT for two projects under the BHL Group of Companies.
This came after a High Court ruling which allowed a judicial review from 104 house buyers to set aside Rahman’s extension order as it was against the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act.
“I believe the DAP leaders used the High Court decision as the basis for their highly defamatory conclusion.
“This will be challenged as the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government will be appealing the verdict,” he said.
He assured the public that all EOT applications were approved based solely on merit and that no support letters could supercede the stringent procedures in approving the EOT applications.
“In fact, support letters have no value in determining the approval. Those letters, at best, are just formalities and pleasantries,” he said.
Rahman explained that in 1989, Parliament amended the Housing Developer Act (Act 118) to address many issues plaguing the housing industry, including paving the way for the provision of EOT regulation to put a lid on rampant abandoned projects.
Since then, he said, the country has seen a significant decrease in the number of abandoned housing projects.
He challenged the Penang government to deny they had issued EOT to any contractor since 2008, in response to Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy’s press conference four days ago, saying such application was not unique to the Federal government.
Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan