Free housing offer in Sabah could be a scam: Activist

Free housing offer in Sabah could be a scam: Activist
Veteran Sabah consumerism activist Datuk Patrick Sindu
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KOTA KINABALU - A businessman's offer to provide some RM150bil (S$53.4 b) worth of housing for free to Sabahans is raising eyebrows in the state. Dr Harrey M Dauwat told local Sabah media that his company HMD-Braxton Bhd Group would be constructing some 500,000 houses in Sabah over the next 10 to 15 years.

Veteran Sabah consumerism activist Datuk Patrick Sindu (pic) said Harrey's free house offer appeared to be "too good to be true."

"As the saying goes, when something is too good to be true, it usually is. People have to remember it," he said.

Patrick who was involved in the consumerism movement for more than 20 years said those in need of affordable housing should go through established channels such as relevant government agencies.

"There have been so many cheating cases involving housing projects - whether the normal or affordable type," he said.

"So it's always wise to be cautious and not fall for any so called incredible offers," Patrick said in adding that the cheating cases involved the so called "agents" collecting "booking fees" for the houses.

Harrey had claimed that his company would start building the double-storey houses, each costing RM300,000 (S$106,771), in the interior Keningau district next month.

Harrey further claimed that his company would provide land for the houses for those who did not have any.

As for the source of funds for the scheme, he said these would be from "corporate donations."

Harrey also said that his company's "officers" would be travelling to "every nook and corner" of Sabah to identify eligible recipients of the "free" houses.

The businessman was also involved in the proposed RM115bil Gaur Eco City project in the northern Kota Belud district.

Among the facilities that were supposed to be built on the 2,000ha site were a F1 race track, three universities, sports city, as well as education and business hubs.

Harrey, who was reported to be responsible for arranging the project's venture financing, said the scheme would also include a 30km cable car system costing some RM15bil and would link 20 villages along the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.

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