Family scammed out of over RM620,000 in affordable housing racket

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KEPONG (Aug 13): A family of three were scammed out of more than RM620,000 by a syndicate claiming to be able to assist them in buying three semi-detached houses developed by Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS).

In a press conference here today held by Yew Jia Haur, political secretary of Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, Oh Ngan Mooi – one of the victims – said she was approached by a real estate agent named Low Fook On through his wife Lim Lay Bee, who offered to sell them a semi-dee in Taman Selayang Mutiara priced at RM260,000 in 2015.

“Lim told me that her husband, Low is a property agent. She said he has been selling PKNS’s Taman Selayang Mutaira houses at much lower prices because he has connections inside PKNS. He asked if I was interested to get one and the price that he offered was RM260,000,” Oh said.

After visiting the house, Oh decided to accept the offer, which she understood would include money “under the table” as the homes were actually affordable housing by PKNS meant to compensate the local Orang Asli community for developing their land.

“The project is an affordable housing scheme project, which was offered to the Orang Asli at RM99,000 when its first launched. Some units were opened for application when some Orang Asli family chose to not to accept the offer. However, the applicants must fulfill a few requirements, such as they must live in Selangor and the household income must not be more than a certain amount,” Yew explained.

After Oh paid the booking fee and deposit, her daughter and husband, Annie Teh and Teh Kang Huat also accepted offers from Low to buy two units of 1-storey semi-dees in the same location at RM69,000 each.

The three victims then made several payments through bank transfers and cash to Low, Lim and a Parimala Damarajahu who claimed is one of the house owners, in year 2015 to 2016.

They realised it was a scam when they discovered that their names were not registered in the PKNS system as the home owners on May 2016.

The victims reported their case to the police when they failed to contact Low, Lim and Parimala.

However, no action has been taken by the authorities so far.

Oh had lost RM325,721, while Kang Huat is out RM159,031 and Annie had lost RM137,400.

“We paid more than what the offer price of the house was, for the “under table” money and utilities registration deposit. For example, RM9,800 for TNB bill deposit and RM2,000 for insurance.

“Low told us we can ask for refunds when the ownership is transferred.

“He told us if we decided to pull out at this point, we will not get the house and all the paid money will not be refunded. We realised it was a scam when we found out at the PKNS office that the names of the owners of the three houses were not ours,” said Annie.

According to Yew, PKNS has also emphasised that the office does not engage any agency to sell affordable housing scheme project.

All interested applicants for any affordable project under PKNS can only apply through its office.