In-house contractor muscling in on renovation jobs

A businessman is crying foul that his contractor was stopped from undertaking renovation work at his condominium unit in Bayan Baru recently by a group claiming to be the in-house contractor.

Ramlee Ariffin, 60, who purchased the unit for his son three years ago, said the developer had earlier stated that buyers could use their own contractors.

“The condition was that buyers must pay a RM2,000 deposit.

“I was asked to fill the renovation forms and indicate what kind of renovation would be done at my 1,100 sq ft unit.

“I submitted the application on May 3 and it was approved by the developer three days later. When my contractor’s workers were about to move in for renovation, they were stopped by the group.

“The group said they would knock down the wall and clear the debris for me at a charge of RM1,400 and my contractor was required to purchase the materials such as sand and cement from them,” he said when met at The Star office in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling on Saturday. Ramlee, who lodged a police report against the in-house contractor, claimed that the materials were sold at an exorbitant price.

“The in-house contractor is charging RM11 for a wheelbarrow of sand when we can purchase a small lorry load of sand at about RM60. Even a bag of cement is being sold at RM18 each when we can get them at RM13.80 in the market.

“The quotation for renovation done by the ‘in-house’ contractor is also ridiculous, for instance, the RM8,000 renovation job was quoted at RM15,000,” he said.

When contacted, the building supervisor, who only wished to be known as David, denied appointing any in-house contractor for the renovation work.

“We have put up notices around the building clarifying that we have nothing to do with the said contractor.

“If the buyers feel threatened or if their contractors are stopped by anyone, they can lodge a police report,” he said.

A spokesman for the developer said he would meet the buyer tomorrow over the matter.

He said condo owners were allowed to engage their own contractors. - By Ann Tan (The Star)


May 19, 2010 at 1:27 PMUnknown

this is a very normal trend in Penang island and the mainland. Most of this people are REJECTED contractor with a gang. My friend that bought a small flat in jelutong also face the same problem. Maybe you should raise this to the police and our beloved CM. By stationing a police there for a few month might help

May 19, 2010 at 1:43 PMAnonymous


is it by law that by proceeding with "in-house" renovations you need to sign a form with a RM2000 deposit??

and what can we do to prevent such matter to happen again, to new apartments in Penang,

for this matter, we're already very poor when i comes to purchasing land or apartment's in Penang as the Penang Pricing is OFF the roof~!!!

let's hope that our beloved CM will do something about this matter....hopefully someone can forward this site to our CM so he can know about our current projects in Penang haha

May 19, 2010 at 1:51 PMUnknown

This condo refer to D Piazza Condo. This gangster contractor is so ruthless and unreasonable that it wanted to monopoly basic things like grill installation.They dare to distribute leftlet with 2 standard grill that the residents must follow!! and buy from them.
Some more, this leftlet is distributed by the appointed management office "Robert Bench"!

You tell me, how to complain to the management office? It is getting out of hand now. The developer X Scan Penang Sdn Bhd should intervene as they paid this Robert Bench Property Office to maintain the condo. We paid maintenance fees and security

May 19, 2010 at 3:02 PMPen

REPORT now to the police and call up the star and kwong wah too. I fully support this.

May 19, 2010 at 3:38 PMUnknown

FYI, the RM2000 deposit is to make sure that the owner follows the rules and regulation during the period. I would not blame the management officeto collect them as this is for the sake of everyone.

I used to move in to a brand new home before (Parkview Tower in Butterworth). The situation is not that bad but there is always some contractor there to assist you. The management will support (indirectly) on the grill type and etc telling you that the contractor is very good ....all that crab!

If you want to contact the CM his email is

May 19, 2010 at 7:26 PMUnknown

This kind of gangster contractor scenario was happen all the while to Penang new properties.....ONLY IN PENANG, you will never see this in other states.

May 19, 2010 at 11:13 PMKevin

this has been going on for years and baru baru ini baru nak report?
aiseh... i wonder who started this gangster contractor trend... and surprising thing is, no complains until now! so previous new apartment buyers all follow the 'law'?

May 19, 2010 at 11:26 PMconcern

Big one also cheating his own people now the small one start cheating, what a corrupted society. Human already corrupted.

April 23, 2011 at 9:56 PMWalking parasite

So meaning to say, if someone plan to do minor tiling at the small open space in front of the unit, bringing down the stupid wall to reclaim the open area beside the kitchen and building a sliding door in front...we got to pay RM2000 deposit to the office in order to get approval for our own contractor and raw materials, yes?