KUALA LUMPUR: An Indian community NGO has advised those allegedly cheated by a property developer to hold on to the cheques they had been given as reimbursements.
Between April 2016 and February this year, some 480 people claimed they were cheated of more than RM2.7 million in total by the developer when they were promised affordable housing under the project near Ulu Yam.
According to some of the buyers, the project never took off and the site is devoid of any development.
The townhouses were to be sold for between RM100,000 and RM200,000.
Some had been reimbursed with post-dated cheques which they claimed had “bounced“ when presented for payment.
Speaking at a meeting with the buyers in Selayang here today, U Thamotharan, president of the NGO, Perinnbam Malaysia, said these cheques were hard evidence the buyers could use if they chose to take action against the property company.
However, he said that since the cheques were valid for only six months, it was important to file police reports.
“Those who have received cheques should try to cash them because we need that receipt that says the cheques have bounced.
“Then go and file a police report so that the cheque can be used as evidence for the next six years,” he said.
Lawyer Mohanna Rengasamy told the buyers their best chance at getting back their money was to pursue a civil lawsuit.
He said, however, that because it involved a large amount of money it will have to go to the High Court which means it will cost more.
Therefore, he suggested the buyers form a committee to take action.
“Choose at least seven representatives from among you and everyone must pitch in for the legal costs.
“I cannot promise that you will get your money back but this is your best chance.”
Mohanna said the buyers could file a criminal lawsuit but it would be unlikely that the buyers would get their money back.
The best the buyers could hope for from a criminal lawsuit, he said, was that the government would consider the project unfinished and hopefully finish it.
“But how long this will take, we don’t know. The government will take action anyway.”
However, Taman Templer federal development coordinator Nasir Ibrahim disagreed with Mohanna and urged the buyers to seek a criminal lawsuit instead.
“The cheque is a contract. It has your name, amount paid and signature there. A breach of contract is a very serious white collar crime with dire consequences.”
He also urged the buyers to take advantage of the fact that the general election is close.
“The area is under the state government. So put pressure on them to do something about this, especially since it’s so close to the elections.”
FMT is trying to get in touch in touch with the developer.