SIBU (Jan 23): Raising public awareness on the existence and functions of the Sarawak Housing Purchaser’s Claims Tribunal is among his immediate tasks after the Lunar New Year, said Michael Tiang.
The Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government pointed out that it is pivotal for the public, especially house buyers, to know that they have a good access to the housing tribunal and that their rights are protected under Sarawak Ordinance.
For that, he said he will be touring Sarawak to introduce again Sarawak Housing Purchaser’s Claims Tribunal, starting with Sibu, before heading to Miri, Bintulu and Kuching.
Additionally, this tour also aims to identify any housing, local government and public health issues faced by the people, added Tiang.
“I have talked to some of my Adun (assemblymen) colleagues that we are going to visit each other’s constituency especially from my ministry – (to identify) any housing, local government and public health issues.
“So, I will be starting around March. At the same time, I will also bring the housing tribunal to tour some of the major towns in Sarawak, namely Miri, Bintulu, Sibu and Kuching.
“We are going to organise some talks, seminars to create a heightened public awareness on the existence and functions of housing tribunal especially towards those house purchasers, who have faced problems with their newly bought house,” the Pelawan assemblyman told reporters during his Chinese New Year open house here today.
Tiang added: “So, we are going to promote this awareness to all these people so that they know that they have a very good access to the housing tribunal.”
Asked on the level of awareness among house buyers in the state with regard to the existence and functions of the housing tribunal, he admitted that a lot of folk still do not know there is such a tribunal.
He believed that this might have led to a substantial number of house buyers to only lodge complaints with the tribunal on the defects of their house, after the expiry of the warranty period.
Tiang explained that house buyers facing issues with their newly bought house are to file their complaints to the tribunal within 18 months of the warranty period.
“They have to lodge their complaint, if there is any complaint towards the quality of workmanship, especially in respect to the terms and conditions of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
“If there is any issue, they should immediately lodge a complaint with the housing tribunal within 18 months of the warranty period for the tribunal to look into the issue.”
On this, he bemoaned: “Unfortunately, a lot of house buyers, they actually waited for the issue too long – beyond the warranty period – only then, they realise that they have access to the housing tribunal.
“That will be too late. Technically, housing tribunal won’t be able to help them (house buyers) with the problems that they are facing.”
“So, I want to go around Sarawak to again introduce the housing tribunal to the public to create a heightened awareness that they know house buyers’ rights are in fact, protected under Sarawak Ordinances.
“I want them to have higher awareness on this assistance provided from our ministry,” he informed.
He assured that he would also bring the housing tribunal to tour other parts of Sarawak, if there is a demand, besides the four major towns.