Monday, October 21, 2013

Will you be the next victim?

Jonathan Ng's house, with banners that tell their story.Jonathan Ng attends to his grandmother. Jonathan Ng's grandmother, Liew Moi Lan, 81 packing some old family pictures.Susan Cheong packing up to move out.
PETALING JAYA (Oct 20): After putting their lives on hold for six years to save their homes, four houseowners in Taiping are ready to move on.
 
A sense of peace, says leader of the group Jonathan Ng has come over them following their loss in the High Court. They failed in  much publicised legal battle to prevent debt collection agency Gale Force Sdn Bhd from taking their homes.
 
Ng, who was served with the eviction notice on Oct 17 said he and his family have decided to move out and let Gale Force have the house. Ng will be renting a RM500 house about five minutes away from Taiping town.
 
"The court has served us an eviction notice yesterday and Gale Force will forcefully remove us on Oct 29.
 
“We have decided to let them have the house. I don’t want them to hurt my mom or my grandmother by forcefully kicking us out. We have done everything that’s humanly possible, and then even beyond that to keep our home. But in the end, it wasn’t meant to be," said Ng.
 
“But… we have no regrets. We have learned a lot from this experience,” said Ng whose life came to a standstill as he opted to return back to Taiping from his business in Kuala Lumpur to help his mother salvage their home.
 
Fz.com has been following Ng’s dilemma where breaches in the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (Bafia) caused Ng and the other house buyers in Taman Suria Permai, to lose their homes.
 
The house owners paid in full directly to the real estate developer KS Properties however they were never given their land titles. The developer, Koi Kim Seng, owner of KS Property Sdn Bhd was found dead, under mysterious circumstances in 2008. Instead of issuing titles to the house buyers, he had recharged the properties for another project.
 
As it did not receive any payment from Koi, Maybank sold off Koi's non-performing loans to Gale Force, despite knowledge of the interests of the six house buyers.
 
The housebuyers argue that they were not given notice before the NPL was sold to Gale Force. They also contend that Gale Force at that time was not a 51 percent local owned company. Despite the blatant breach in regulations, all their appeals have fallen on deaf ears,
 
This led to Ng coming home to help his mother Susan Cheong from fighting the battle alone. However, after years of gruelling court battles, legal fees and sleepless nights, Ng and his family have finally had enough and have called it quits.
 
Surprisingly, rather than being depressed, Ng was extremely cheerful. “There’s nothing we can do, but we do feel good because we didn’t give up halfway and went all out and we exhausted ourselves on so many levels. We have been drained on a psychological, physical, spiritual and financial level.
 
“But the moment we made the decision to let the house go, we feel very light because we don’t go to sleep thinking of the problem and wake up, thinking of the problem.
 
“It’s a sense of peace."


1 comment:

KoSong Cafe said...

It is most unfortunate for such houseowners to bear the brunt of improper activities under the watch of Bank Negara.
I think NPLs have been too casually dealt with by Bank Negara. Offhand, I can still remember CIMB sold off billions worth of NPLs to third parties to clean up its balance sheet. I can also remember complaints about NPLs being sold to foreign entities which was considered improper, if not illegal. But the Finance Minister apparently approved of such activities.
We knew of how major banks in the USA which were brought down by their toxic assets which did not represent any value. NPLs were sold by them to insurance companies and then to pension and other funds, which bore no reference to the original debtors' ability to repay.
With lax controls because of current political expediency, we might be heading towards such a scenario. We know our current government debts are made to look lower than actual, and without including contingent liabilities in the form of government guarantees. More recently, even our government tried to transfer housing loans out of its balance sheet to make it look better. So what we see might not be what it seems.

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