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Bryan Lui (Co-Managing Partner) []

Harneshpal Karamjit Singh (Co-Managing Partner) []

In the case of Ng Sook Foon v Marimo Land Sdn Bhd [2022] MLJU 2061 ("Marimo Land"), several legal questions were presented to the High Court. The purchaser’s claim for liquidated damages (LAD) of about RM3.6 million was granted.

The case involved purchasers of units in a housing development called Residensi O'Hako, with Marimo Land as the developer.

Before the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) was signed, Marimo Land obtained an extension of time (EOT) from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, extending the statutory period for delivery of vacant possession and completion of common facilities from 36 months to 48 months. Marimo Land also collected booking fees and deposits for the units through two firms of solicitors.

The court determined that the delivery of vacant possession should commence from the date of the payment of the booking fee, as established by a previous Federal Court decision.

The purchasers and the defendant were not bound by the modified completion period in the SPA, as the Housing Controller had no authority to grant EOTs.

The purchasers were entitled to rely on the original 36-month completion period to claim for LAD, based on the legal position established in a Federal Court decision. The Federal Court decisions in Ang Ming Lee and PJD Regency were found to have retrospective effect.

In conclusion, this case, like many others, favored the purchasers. The Federal Court decisions in PJD Regency and Ang Ming Lee clarified that purchasers can claim for LAD from the date of the booking fee/deposit and within the statutory 36-month period when any booking fee was collected and an EOT was granted by the Controller of Housing.

The homebuyers were represented by Messrs Lui & Bhullar.

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