News: Property Scams in Sabah Promise Iconic Skyscraper Lookalikes

Sep 5, 2017


Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) has warned Sabahans against companies promoting large property development projects within the state.

This is because these projects may be bogus.

“So we’d like to advise property buyers and investors to be wary of such so-called property developers. They should take precautions,” said Shareda president Chew Sang Hai.

According to him, property buyers should engage the services of an accountant or lawyer to verify the project being promoted.

“We are concerned about the public falling victim to conmen and Ponzi schemes.”

In fact, a huge property development allegedly near the naval base in Sepanggar and heavily promoted online had not been approved by the local authorities.

“We checked with City Hall and found there’d been no submission to the local authority for a project this size in the area,” said Chew.

“The ad, in Chinese, claims the development is taking place over 2,000 acres of land.”

A photo of the ‘Sepanggar project’ model, which was supplied by a source, showed mock-up buildings that look like Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Tower, Dubai’s Burj Al Khalifa, Taipei 101, Tokyo Tower and Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Based on the master plan, the iconic lookalikes feature residential units and not office spaces.

“The area they say they want to develop is bigger than Kuala Lumpur city,” the source said. He added that the developer was looking for investors willing to fund the holiday concept of living.

Chew explained that developers have to abide by certain regulations before they can commence construction work on their project.

“Developers must be the registered landowners or should have entered into joint ventures with the landowners,” he said, adding that they must also have the written approval of the city mayor or relevant authorities.

“Only after getting the approvals can the developers start selling the properties to potential buyers or investors through the sell-and-build mechanism. They are subject to many conditions.”

He noted that the developer must have a developer’s licence and sales permit if it is selling residential units. If it is selling shares in a public company, then it must have a “prospectus approved by the Securities Commission”.

“There are a lot of things potential buyers and investors need to know about the developers before they commit their money.”

Image sourced from Daily Sabah and Citizen Journalist Malaysia.

This article was edited by the editorial team of PropertyGuru. To contact them about this or other stories email

For the latest property news, trends, resources and expert opinions, visit our Property News section. Home buyers, sellers or property renters looking for Malaysian Properties, may like to visit the New Launches or Project Reviews page.

agent image
agency logo
Shaiful Safar
Real Estate Negotiator
REN: 17520
True Vest Property Consultants Sdn. Bhd.
(+60) 11-32302211