Selangor to restore 37 abandoned housing projects

State administration will continue to look for ‘rescue developers’ for the 180 white elephant projects, says MB

by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE Selangor state government will focus on restoring 37 private housing projects that have been abandoned by developers, so that they can be delivered to the original buyers.

Mentri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari (picture) said the state administration will continue to look for “rescue developers” to redevelop or refurbish the 180 white elephant projects.

Amirudin said the reconstruction will also benefit the developers, as they would be incentivised to develop another parcel of land, so the profit could be used to complete the unfinished projects left by the previous developers.

“Each redevelopment or reconstruction scheme will have a different formula as they each have different problems.

“Usually, we would get rescue developers, but there are also cases where we give the land parcels to the owners to be completed (by) themselves,” Amirudin told a media conference after handing over 203 keys to home buyers of Rumah Idaman Warisan in Shah Alam, Selangor, yesterday.

All the units have been abandoned since 1999. In 2016, the Selangor government inked an agreement with the strategic consortium of Worldwide Holdings Bhd and LBS Bina Group Bhd to renovate and rehabilitate the projects, formerly known as Taman Arcadia in Shah Alam.

“As for strata houses, they have a more complex rule — with a higher repairing cost and smaller return.

“That is why it has a more tragic impact towards buyers, but we will try to settle them one by one,” Amirudin said.

According to the Selangor Housing and Property Board, since the start of the rehabilitation initiative in 2008, some 81 housing projects have been successfully restored.

However, the total number of abandoned housing projects is still high, as up until July 2020, there are still 180 abandoned projects in Selangor.

Amirudin said the state government together with local authorities are monitoring the status of each project and further actions will be taken in due course.

He added that the process to complete the abandoned houses will be longer as the government needs to review its technical and legal aspects in the development.

In another development, Amirudin said Selangor reaffirms its stand to not allow the East Coast Rail Link to pass through its Klang Gates Quartz Ridge (Gombak), Batu Dam, Templar Forest Reserve and Forest Park, Kota Puteri or Batu Arang and its water catchment areas.

A meeting between the federal government, the project owner Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and the state representatives is expected to take place today.

“We have highlighted our concern before, including that of the state’s interest, especially the lands, the population, water catchment areas and environment issues. So, we will hear from them as some discussions are expected to take place soon,” he said.

The project was initiated by the Barisan Nasional government in 2017 before it was revised by the Pakatan Harapan administration in 2018.

The cost was reduced from RM65.5 billion to RM44 billion after realigning its track to avoid the 18km tunnelling through the Titiwangsa mountain, thus reducing the number of stations from 24 to 20.

It was reported that Selangor has proposed a more strategic location, namely in Jenjarom (Kuala Langat) near Rimbayu or Kampung Cheeding, as well as in Westport.

“Land approval is of state jurisdiction, and it is the state agencies that must implement the decision, so it is better for the federal government and the developer to consider our view to allow the project to take off smoothly with a win-win situation.

“It is not about dollars and cents only, but the people of Selangor’s interest as a whole,” Amirudin said.