Monday, September 10, 2007

A-G slams Lada over handling of housing project

The Langkawi Development Board (Lada) spent about RM78,000 over 15 months to repair and maintain houses that were unsold under its public housing project, the Auditor-General reported. 

It said there were 200 medium-cost units, 134 medium-low-cost units, 80 low-cost units and 200 Melayu Islam Kedah units. However, by November last year, there were still 323 units that were unsold, the report stated. 

"From the day the houses were completed in July 2005, to October 2006, Lada spent RM12,548 to repair the houses and RM65,696 to maintain the compound and surrounding areas. "Due to poor sales, the houses were broken into and damaged although there were security systems," the report said, adding that there was vandalism, and that bushes had grown all over the houses. 

It also said that the Property and Buildings Management Unit estimated that an additional cost of RM60,000 was needed for repairs and RM50,000 for maintenance. "This means Lada needs RM110,000 to rehabilitate and maintain the houses before the houses can be sold," the report said. 

The AG also reported that the projected returns for the 614 units were RM38.15mil but until October last year, the returns were only RM6.15mil. 

"The Auditor cannot find out the number of houses sold as well as the actual returns from the sales of the houses because Lada did not maintain its accounts and sales record," said the AG in the report. "The board of directors were also inefficient and held only one to two meetings in a year to discuss the progress of the project," the report stated. 

Based on the minutes of the meetings, the AG found that the sales committee never went into details about the sales of the houses and action that needed to be taken. The AG said Lada should take action against officers who failed to record the collection of sales and keep proper accounts. 

"There should also be an aggressive promotion to sell the houses through electronic media, radio, television and brochures," it said.