Housing industry is one of the important agendas in Malaysia since Independence day. Since then, it has been placed in the list of the top government’s priorities in the Malaysia’s Plans. After Independence, one of the most important objectives of the government is to restructure the society and eradicate poverty, through the means of the various Malaysia Plans, the pre-emptive New Economic Policy (NEP) and the National Development Policy (NDP) adopted by the government. One of the approaches contained in these programmes and means, is to provide sufficient and suitable housing accommodation to its citizens. Initially, after Independence, the duty to provide housing for the citizens of Malaya (the then Malaysia) was resumed by the Malaysian government itself, following the step of the British-led government before it. However, due to the insufficient funds on part of the government and there were upsurge in demand for housing democracy and ownership, this noble task was too, been given to private developers, for them to provide and construct housing accommodation, subject to the rules and regulations imposed by the government. Be that as it may, although housing industry has served as the development, economic and social catalyst and has brought many benefits to the nation, one of the spill-over problems which it carries, is the problem of abandoned housing projects. This problem has become a nightmare to the government and especially to the purchasers involved. Based on initial researches there are various kinds of reasons leading to such a catastrophe. It is thought that, legally speaking, this problem might have been and it is evident, due to certain legal problems.
In Malaysia, there are two (2) types of housing projects. Firstly, projects that are constructed by the government towards providing residential or office premises to its servants and administrators. Secondly, is the private housing project spearheaded by four types of parties, namely:
1) Cooperative Society;
2) Special Low Cost Housing Projects undertaken by private parties;
3) Private individual and private group housing carried by people at large; and,
4) Licensed private developers.
Previously, only the licensed private developers are subject to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118). However, after the new amendment made in 2002, all of the above parties are subject to the purview of Act 118 (currently is being renamed ‘Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118)). This means that all housing developments commenced and carried out by the above four (4) parties after the amendment are subjected to the provisions provided in Act 118.
Licensed private developers are the major contributors in providing office, industrial and residential buildings to fulfill the demand of all layers of society in Malaysia. All the activities of housing development carried out by licensed private developers are now governed by the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 and its regulations made thereunder.
Even though, the housing industry has become one of the top priorities of the government, this industry, still causes possible spillover and recurring problems for the nation. One of the most plaguing enigma, is the sui generis abandoned housing projects. The causes are multifarious, but the most formidable reason is the economic recession, that has affected the whole nation.