Sarawak residents face significant impacts from housing and property scams, with many falling victim to fraudulent schemes. These scams have caused severe financial losses and emotional distress among Sarawakians. Authorities are working to address this issue and raise awareness to protect residents from further harm.
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KUCHING, Sept 19 – A significant majority of victims caught in a major housing and property scam hail from Sarawak, with almost 80% of those affected coming from the state, according to Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim, the secretary-general of the Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO). Hishamuddin revealed that his organization had received 80 complaints from individuals registered with MHO, but it is estimated that around 500 people have fallen prey to a company that promised high returns through dividends and real estate assets.
“Nearly 400 victims are from Sarawak, with others located in Kedah and Johor. The majority of the victims reside in rural areas. Based on the complaints, this company enticed people with offers of home construction packages, design, and renovation services,” Hishamuddin explained. The allure of these attractive deals led many individuals to invest their hard-earned money.
The victims who lodged complaints expressed their dissatisfaction with what they perceived as a slow response from the police. In response, Hishamuddin said that he had already brought this matter to the attention of Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri.
We met the police commissioner to inquire about the status of the investigation. Section 107(A) of the Penal Code grants complainants the right to know the status of their reports. The feedback from the meeting is that action has been taken, and the investigation is ongoing. We have also been informed that the mastermind behind this scheme has been charged in Miri with two charges,” Hishamuddin stated. He added that a complaint would also be lodged with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
Expressing deep concern about the rising number of investment scams, Hishamuddin called upon the authorities to take strong action against individuals and groups responsible for these cases. “These scams have caused victims to suffer significant losses, including their life savings,” he emphasized.
One victim, who invested nearly RM300,000 in the company, recounted how he had been drawn to the scheme, believing it to be legitimate due to the professional presentation of its representatives. Another victim, a 57-year-old woman from Katibas, shared her experience of losing her entire life savings amounting to RM32,000 to the scam, highlighting the devastating impact these fraudulent schemes can have on individuals, particularly those from rural areas.