New Research Findings on the Legal Meaning of ‘Housing Developer’ and ‘Housing Development’ in Peninsular Malaysia

The writer has completed researching into and writing on the definitions of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’.

 

For those who involve in ‘housing development’ such as the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MOH), judges, public prosecutors, lawyers, purchasers and developers, this research and its findings may be beneficial in their daily works. The statutory definitions as provided in section 3 of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118), it is opined, still are insufficient to determine the realistic and sensible meaning of the above words (‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’). Likewise are the possible feasible meanings of the same, brought about by the recent amendments made to Act 118 in 2007. There are several cases in courts which had decided and discussed the meaning of ‘housing development’ and ‘housing developer’. Yet the decisions and discussions are still unsatisfactory. Similar, this is the position of the opinions of some academics and legal practitioners.

 

This research writing is filled with in-depth discussions over the meaning of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’ and it is opined that by enhancing the intellectual discussion of these legal words, it would be good for the interests of the housing players and the enforcement bodies, such as MOH, judges, public prosecutors, lawyers, developers and the public at large. At the end of this research, the writer has listed down certain proposals to reform the legal definitions of ‘housing development’ and ‘housing developer’ as might have been intended and purportedly meant by the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118).

 

The abstract of this research writing is as follows:

 

The statutory definitions of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’ in section 3 of Act 118, which have been discussed and examined by courts in several cases, and it is proven that the said definitions are too vague. Even with the new amendment made in 2007 vide Housing Development (Control and Licensing) (Amendment) Act 2007 (A1289), it is opined, this problem has still not been satisfactorily resolved. It is in the opinion of the researchers that certitude on the meanings of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’ are necessary as there would otherwise be difficult for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (‘MOH’) as well as the public to identify persons deemed to be the housing developers and involve in the ‘housing development’ activities. This would cause difficulty on part of the authorities concerned in fully implementing and imposing the provisions of Act 118 on these persons if they do not meet the legal criteria and conditions of the statutory purported meanings of ‘housing developer’ and carrying ‘housing development’ activities. It is opined, that not all persons who carry out housing construction and development activities fall under the legal or intended statutory definition of ‘housing developer’ or involving in ‘housing development’ activities, and thus are not required to abide by the provisions of Act 118. Conversely, there are persons who are initially not deemed to have undertaken ‘housing development’ activities, but based on the principles adopted and defined in case law and section 3 of Act 118, are subject, as housing developers and be deemed carrying out ‘housing development’, to the provisions of Act 118. Hence, the meaning of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’, even though with the new amendments made recently, it is opined, still inadequate and uncertain. Hitherto there are two legal writings which have attempted to expand, gauge and test the given plausible meanings of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’. The first writing was made by S.Y. Kok. The second was by Nuarrual Hilal Md. Dahlan (one of the researchers), by examining and analyzing the contentions put forward by S.Y. Kok, and suggesting certain legal ideas to improve the true and practical meaning of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’. Based on the second writing by Nuarrual Hilal Md. Dahlan, it is found, the statutory definition of ‘housing project’ and ‘housing development’, before the amendments in 2007, were shrouded in uncertainty. Likewise, were the contentions forwarded by S.Y. Kok. Surprisingly, with the new amendments made in 2007, it is perceived, the statutory definitions of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’ have still, not satisfactorily been resolved. Thus, this research attempts to examine the new amendments in Act 118 regarding the statutory meanings of ‘housing developer’ and ‘housing development’ as section 3 of Act 118 purports.’

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