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(From New Straits Times (Malaysia))
Byline: Salleh Buang
HIGH on my wish list for 2006 is an end to the perennial problem of abandoned housing. The reason is that while I am an optimist by nature, past events have made me realise that the build-then-sell concept becoming reality stands a very slim chance.
The realist in me says that for as long as we stick to our old practice of selling, then building abandoned projects will continue to feature in our landscape in the years ahead. Despite being mooted by none other than Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi early last year, I have no confidence at all that build-then-sell will gain momentum - or get past Cabinet to become a brand new Executive policy.
It is not that the National House Buyers Association (HBA) and other NGOs have not done their work. They have, and I believe they still are, working hard to get rid of the sell-then-build mode of housing delivery.
Or, at the very least, trying to get it modified to some extent to strike a fair balance between developers and purchasers.