“Reviving abandoned housing projects is turning nightmare to hope”

Letter to Editor 

IN Malaysia’s property market, where dreams of homeownership are often associated with aspirations for a brighter future, lies a sombre reality. For some, what was once a hope has become a nightmare as their investments have turned into burdensome debts with nothing to show in returns.

Abandoned housing projects have cast a shadow of uncertainty and despair over the lives of countless individuals and families.

Amidst the glitz and glamour of property development, the plight of those affected by abandoned projects often goes unnoticed. Behind the glossy brochures and promising investment prospects lie stories of shattered dreams and financial ruin.

I myself have once fallen into this trap of uncertainty, with my hard-earned savings tied up in a housing project that was abandoned three years after I bought it.

The heartbreaking reality is that many house buyers in these abandoned projects experience more than just financial losses. The once-promising prospects of owning a home turned into nightmares of legal battles, financial struggles and emotional turmoil for many of us.

These abandoned projects serve as stark reminders of the vulnerabilities in the pursuit of homeownership. The latest figures from the Housing and Local Government Ministry: 115 projects comprising a staggering 30,840 homes were abandoned as of February 2024.

I believe it is essential for all Malaysians to realise the broader impact of these abandoned housing projects on society. Beyond the financial losses and broken dreams, abandoned developments create a ripple effect in society as they erode trust in the property market while dampening economic growth.

The government needs to do more to revive these projects, and more collaboration is needed with reputable developers to breathe new life into them. My housing project was revived eventually, and I have now moved into my new home.

The revival of abandoned projects brings many benefits as homeowners, who once faced uncertainty and disillusionment have been granted a lease of life. Revived projects also create job opportunities, stimulate economic activity, and contribute to the overall well-being of society and ultimately the nation.

Additionally, it helps preserve property values and ensure sustainable development.

In this context, the efforts of developers and governmental bodies to address the issue of abandoned housing projects are commendable.

However, it’s imperative to maintain momentum and pursue comprehensive solutions that address the root causes of abandonment. Collaboration between developers, government agencies, and community stakeholders is essential to developing holistic strategies that prevent it in the future.

There are developers with integrity and compassion who have stepped forward to confront this pressing issue head-on. Companies like IJM, NCT Group, Bina Puri, HCK Capital and Newfields have breathed new life into abandoned projects, offering a lifeline to affected homeowners. Their commitment to reviving dormant projects exemplifies the spirit of resilience and compassion that define the Malaysian property market.

The revival of projects such as Empire Remix 1 now renamed Edumetro, Taman Kenanga, The Maisson and Sunway Belvedere is a testament to the power of collective action. By reviving abandoned projects, they are transforming liabilities into assets, despair into hope, and dreams into reality.

Yet, the road to recovery is not without challenges. Lingering issues such as the surplus of unsold homes, exacerbated by economic downturns and market imbalances, loom large.

To sustain revivals, governmental support is paramount. Initiatives aimed at expediting approval processes, incentivising developers, and embracing technological innovations must be prioritised to propel the housing sector forward and restore faith in the market.

As Malaysians, it is also our collective responsibility to rally behind these efforts. By standing in solidarity with affected homeowners and supporting developers who are leading the charge, we can pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future for all Malaysians. – April 19, 2024



S. Ramalingam is a FocusM reader.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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