Monday, February 4, 2008

Expats go to court over 'dream homes'

An expatriate, who bought what he thought was his beach-front dream house, is taking his nightmare to court.

Roger Crowhurst, a 65-year-old journalist for a four-wheel-drive magazine, his wife from Sabah, Nyuk Ling@Semenanjit, and four other expatriate couples filed an application for judicial review against the Papar district council and the Local Government and Housing Ministry.

They are looking to have the respondents take responsibility for their homes in the Palm Beach Villas in Kinarut, which have been left in a dilapidated state. "We have been trying to get our developer to look into various aspects of our living conditions such as general maintenance, safety and common facilities servicing these villas, but they have declared themselves free of responsibility," said Crowhurst.

He said basic facilities such as lighting, road, drainage, security, garbage disposal, sea defence, and common facilities of the residential area had not been taken care of. The judicial review seeks to get the two respondents to take up the duties in respect to all the safety and administrative functions of the housing residence.

It also seeks to get the ministry to replace the management of the Papar district council and appoint a party to repair or demolish the boardwalk servicing the housing residence which had become dilapidated and hazardous. "When we bought the place, we were promised a paradise, but now it is not even decent living. "The boardwalk is damaged from coastal erosion, the beams are falling apart, the lights are out, no one is sweeping the debris on the road or collecting the rubbish, and no one is taking responsibility for all this.

"Everyone we approach says they are not responsible for our problems. We feel abandoned and after spending our hard-earned cash on these properties, we are getting a very raw deal," said Crowhurst. Rodney Parsons, a 60-year-old helicopter engineer who in here under the Malaysia My Second Home programme said that he was disappointed with the shoddy treatment from the authorities.

"We have asked several people to help with the repairs for six months, but nothing is being done," he said.

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