Three questions about the wife of Attorney-General Apandi making false claim that she is director of a developer and abuse of powers by Abdul Rahman as Housing Minister in giving 12-month extension for completion of condominium project
The Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday set aside the order by the then Urban Wellbeing Housing and Local Government Minister to give a 12-month extension to a developer, BHL Construction Sdn. Bhd., to complete its condominium project in Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur.
Justice Hanipah Farikullah, who allowed the judicial review application by 104 house buyers, said the minister’s decision to rely on a regulation to allow the extension was against the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act.
BHL Construction Sdn Bhd was involved in the construction of a condominium in Jalan Kuchai Lama in Kuala Lumpur where 104 plaintiffs had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with them.
One of the conditions of the agreement required that the developer hand over vacant possession within 36 months or be liable to pay a penalty for late delivery to the buyers.
The developer failed to complete and hand over the units to the 104 purchasers and wrote to the Controller of Housing under the ministry for an extension of time. The appeal was rejected.
The developer then appealed to the Housing Minister at the time, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who, on November 17, 2015, allowed an extension of 12 months.
That decision would have allowed the developer to hand over vacant possession to the buyers from 36 months to 48 months.
Aggrieved, the purchasers sought legal remedy in the courts last year.
I fully agree with the National House Buyers Association secretary-general Chang Kim Loong, who said the rights and entitlement to compensation could not be taken away by the Controller of Housing or the minister with a stroke of a pen.
Parties are bound by the terms of the contract and any modification or variation of the agreement will require the consent of purchasers.
There are several serious issues in this case.
The person who wrote to the then Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan seeking a 12-month extension, was the wife of the Attorney-General, Faridah Begum binti K.A.Abdul Kader, who misrepresented herself as Director of BHL.
A check with the Registrar of Companies showed she was not a director of BhL Construction Sdn. Bhd.
Three serious conflict-of-interest questions arise here:
Firstly, how is the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohd Appandi Ali going to give consent to prosecute his wife for making false representation and false claim as a director of BHL Construction Sdn. Bhd in an appeal letter to the then Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government to abuse his power, when she was not a director of BHL Construction Sdn. Bhd.
Secondly, she has written a letter to the then Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government giving a frivolous reason in the application for the extension. By virtue of the Minister's approval, housebuyers were not able to get compensation for late delivery of their homes. The total amount runs into millions.
Why did Abdul Rahman succumbed to such frivolous reasons to abuse his Ministerial powers – or was it just because the letter was written by the wife of the Attorney-General?
Abdul Rahman Dahlan is duty-bound to state how many Ministerial decisions had he made during his short stint as Housing Minister illegally giving developers extension for completion of their housing projects, in violation of sale-and-purchase agreement concluded with house buyers.
The Minister’s decision has now been quashed by the Kuala Lumpur court. How could the minister give extensions based on such frivolous reasons such as stop-work-orders. Such orders were given because the developer breached the laws and inconvenienced the neighbourhood.
Although Abdul Rahman Dahlan has shifted to another Ministry, he is duty bound to explain and justify his Ministerial decision to give a 12-month extension in November 2015 – and to vindicate in the court of public opinion whether there is any ground for such a decision or whether it was completely arbitrary, namely the applicant was sent by Faridah Begum, the wife of the Attorney-General.
While it is not legally wrong for the Attorney-General's wife to be gainfully employed, the last thing she should be engaged in is to make false representation and to make false claims to enable a Minister to arbitrarily abuse his powers.
There is a third question. Hypothetically, how can Appandi be expected to give consent to prosecute developers when his wife is a "lobbyist" of sorts for developers?
Both Apandi Ali and Abdul Rahman Dahlan should explain themselves.