PHUKB squashes state housing exco’s promise

The Selangor State housing exco Iskandar Samad’s assertion that the abandoned Ukay Bistari housing project would be completed by December 2010 was rubbished by Ukay Bistari Home Owners Association (PHUKB) chairman Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman.

Speaking during a phone interview recently, he stated that construction contractors for Block C and D have stopped their operations due to inadequate payments made to them by project developer Damai Bistari.

“ Iskandar Samad said these two blocks can be completed by December 2010, on what basis his statement comes from?”

“In fact the integrated water supply system is not in place yet. When are they going to start building it?”

He added that Iskandar had told ‘a big lie’ in claiming that block F is not yet under the state special task force. In fact, the special task force was already in place and has been ineffective.

“The fact is – the task force was not able to bring in a contractor for block F because the price and terms offered is unrealistic. Contractors have decided not to pursue after getting input on other contractors at the site,” he added.

He stated that the completion of the project would be impossible unless the state government manages to exercise it ‘power of persuasion’ to pressure Damai Bistari or its parent company- Talam Corporation.

“One way they can do so is to recover the lands owned by Talam and sell it off to get funding (to the contractors),” he said.

State housing exco Iskandar, when contacted, said that measures mentioned by Mohamed Rafick will only be used as a last resort to resolve the matter.

“It’s only in worse-case scenarios that we will involve (state-arm) MB Incorporated or other agencies to deal with Talam. For the moment we just want to focus on Ukay Bistari,” he said.

He nevertheless admitted that the construction of block C and block D was halted due to cash flow shortage.

“But negotiation between contractors and developers is going on and we are expecting a move in a week or two.”

Last Thursday, Iskandar assured that the housing project in Ulu Kelang launched by Damai Bistari will be completed by December 2010.

He too credited his Pakatan Rakyat government for bringing much more progress to the project compared to the previous BN administration.

Asked if he is worried about losing votes to Federal Government whom is also assisting the purchasers, Iskandar said the state government has already done its best, and hopes the purchasers gives them ‘a chance’.

“We only came into the picture 18 months ago and have achieved so much. In contrast BN never did anything in the 52 months since the project being abandoned until March 2008,” he said.

Last week, the frustrated purchasers of the abandoned development project had vowed to vote en-bloc to any political party that manages to revive the development.

The amount of votes at stake is believed to be more than 4000 votes.

The Ukay Bistari mixed development project was launched in 2003 but was abandoned since 2004 due to developer’s financial difficulties.