The Rojak Pot

Empire City Damansara In Trouble? (4th Update)

Page 1 : Troubled History, New Signs Of Trouble

Empire City Damansara’s Troubled History

Empire City Damansara is a large commercial development project located along the LDP, near the Kepong toll. Occupying a land area of 23 acres, it would massively increase the number of offices, serviced apartments, hotel rooms and shopping mall space in the area.

Its developer, Mammoth Empire Holdings Sdn. Bhd., who also built the Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya, originally planned to complete the project at the end of 2014.

By the middle of 2013, they were about 60% complete, but development slowed significantly and the completion date was postponed to the end of 2015.

By November 2015, the end was still not in sight, but that didn’t stop them from hosting what they dubbed was the “Party of the Century“, with Paris Hilton and K-pop group 2 AM entertaining those lucky enough to be invited. However, the actual opening of Empire City Mall was further delayed to September 2016.

Updated @ 2016-03-15 : Added a new page with the architect’s certificates of completion and 8 new photos.

Updated @ 2016-03-16 : Added a new page with emails and a Letter of Demand that 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) received.

Updated @ 2016-03-18 : Added a new Letter of Demand, this time from EDA Architects.

Updated @ 2016-03-20 : Added a new page on the conclusion of this case, with photos of the actual unit.

 

New Signs Of Trouble At Empire City Damansara

On 13 March 2016, 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) posted a bunch of photos that were purportedly taken on the 12 March 2016, when he followed a friend to inspect his unit that was apparently ready for occupancy. Take a look at what he posted :

Yesterday I was drop by Block E, Empire City @ Damansara with my friend.

The developer keep on asking them settle the maintenance fees in order to handover the VP (vacant possession). As per photo, this is what you see.

In this situations, I have some queries:

1- How come ‪#‎EdaArchitect‬ can issue a architect cert saying this is already completed?

2- How come the developer ‪#‎MammothEmpire‬ dare to issue a notice of vacant possessions?

3- I know all bank will answer (in fact, MBB already revert with this STANDARD ANSWER): “Base on our undertaking letter when approved the EF, our drawdown is base on Architect Cert”

Come on, last time when I still with MBB, always kena force to perform site visit on the property (although just a RM 300k property) and business premises. Bank’s EF easily reach RM 500M on this project, does the bank are not required to do a site visit? ‪#‎Maybank‬ ‪#‎UOB‬ ‪#‎AmBank‬ ‪#‎PublicBank‬

4- VP without handover a key still consider VP ? of cause there are no keys, due to the door haven’t fixed as well.

5- Upon VP, my friend need to start paying the installment, should him ?

6- Block A was VP mid of last year, till now also haven’t handover the key, I strongly believe the banks already received a lot of complaint, the question is: WHY STILL CONTINUE DRAWDOWN???

His post was shared over 3,600 times, triggering the scandal.

There have been many complaints about this development, but no one has posted so many startling photos of the units that were ostensibly completed, according to the architect and developer.

Next Page > Maybank Responds, Certification of Completion, New Photos

 

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Maybank Responds To The Questions About Empire City Damansara

林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) had earlier written to Maybank, regarding their disbursement of funds without a site visit. Take a look at their reply :

For those on mobile devices, here is the summary of the letter from Maybank :

So much for counting on the Bank to protect your self-interest, together with their own. By handing over the final payment, Maybank has effectively shifted responsibility of overseeing the financial viability of the project to the purchaser.

If the developer fails to deliver the promised development from now onwards, the purchasers will still be responsible for the payment of their instalments.

 

The Empire City Damansara Architect’s Certification Of Completion

林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) just posted the Certificate of Stage Completion as issued by EDA Architects.

Note that the first scan is for the Halo Studio of a different block (Block A), while the second scan is for the Block E office suites that you see in the pictures he posted.

Interestingly, the architect Ar. Loo Chang Seng certified that the internal plastering of the parcel was completed when it was obvious in the pictures we have seen, as well as the new pictures below, that lots of plastering work remained to be done…

 

New Photos of Empire City Damansara

林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) also posted additional photos of the 14th floor Block E office suites. Check them out below.

We cannot confirm that these pictures were taken from the units that were “certified complete” though, since we cannot contact 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing).

Next Page > Emails & LODs From The Developer & Architect

 

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Emails & LOD From Mammoth Empire Holdings

On the 15th of March, 2016, 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) reported that he received a Letter of Demand (LOD) from Mammoth Empire Holdings’ lawyer, demanding that he remove all his Facebook posts on the issue. Take a look :

Basically, they are alleging that he posted pictures of the Marriott Hotel floor, not his friend’s actual office suite; and that he took those photos illegally because he was not authorised to enter the premises.

林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) responded by posting emails he received earlier from Mammoth Empire Holdings themselves :

Interestingly, the first email shows that Mammoth Empire Holdings admitted that the actual unit is not ready for viewing and inspection of defects.

They covered it up by claiming to be upgrading the unit for free, but what exactly are they upgrading that requires an additional 4 months of work?

This was his response :

1. Yup, the unit DOES not belong to me.

2,3,4: If developer FORBIDS me FROM GOING in, I’m wonderING why the appointment email is only senT to me, and also collect money from me… I thoughT u guys wERE giving me authority to go with my Fren…. Please check your staff email, they only SENT email to me wo… And askED me proceed to THE site office tomorrow…

5 & 6, I’m sure I WAS at 18th floor, but all unitS HAD no door cover, is that considerED AS unauthorised access ?

Friend, funny right ?

Personally, the only valid contention in Mammoth Empire Holding’s LOD) was that 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) posted photos of the “wrong floor”.

If that is true, Mammoth Empire Holdings can quickly squash this brewing scandal by quickly posting photos of the actual 18th floor of Block E.

However, if Mammoth Empire Holdings actually brought 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) and his friend to view the “mock up unit” at the 14th floor of Block E, which is purportedly owned by the Marriott Hotel, then we can only wonder just how “complete” the actual units are…

 

LOD From EDA Architects

On the 17th of March, 2016, 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) received a letter of demand (LOD) from EDA Architects’ lawyer, Sidek Teoh Wong & Dennis, demanding that he cease and desist from further posting on this issue.

IMHO, they are probably correct that 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) were not shown the actual 18th floor unit that his friend owned.

After all, the “inspection invitation” email from the developer said that they would be shown a “mock up unit”. Why they would show the Marriott Hotel’s units as the “mock up unit” though is baffling.

Of course, this doesn’t mean he didn’t go by himself to the 18th floor to check (and take photos of) the actual unit on the 18th floor. We have attempted to contact 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing), but he has not responded.

Next Page > They Forced A Site Visit, Another Owner’s Photos

 

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They Forced A Site Visit To Empire City Damansara

On the 17th of March, 2016, 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) paid a visit to the Kepong office of DAP Member of Parliament (Segambut), Lim Lip Eng to seek his advice.

The MP assigned his assistant, Mr. Pui, to help resolve this issue. As it happens, Mr. Pui had contact with one of the bosses of Mammoth Empire Holdings and promised to bring him and the other concerned owners (with VP and/or keys) for a site visit.

On the 19th of March, they set out for a site visit but were denied entry because they “did not make an appointment in advanced“.

According to Mr. Pui, owners whose units have been certified as fit for VP (Vacant Possession) have the right to enter their units without hindrance. In fact, they can lodge a police report if the developer bars them from entry.

Eventually, it took a call to the developer before a representative came to “assist” the owners in viewing their units. Lim Kar Sing wanted to view all floors that were certified VP, but was denied.

He was only allowed to view his friend’s unit. Mr. Pui himself was not allowed to join them for the viewing. Take a look at the pictures he took :

As you can see, the actual unit and the corridor and lobby on that floor look largely completed although there was still some work to be done.

The representative claimed that their staff accidentally brought them to a “construction floor”, instead of the “actual floor”. However, they were not permitted to view other areas, not even the stairwell “for safety reasons”.

After the visit, 林家聲 (Lim Kar Sing) issued a public apology to the developer and architect for alleging that the first set of pictures he posted was from the 18th floor.

I would like to apologise to the developer and the architect for my previous post which due to wrong level of the building I have went to, although it is bring by your representative.

When he asked the representative why they were brought to that “mock up” unit that was in such a bad condition, he had no answer. In the end, he posed these questions to the developer :

  1. What is the definition of the developer’s ‘Vacant Possession’?
  2. What is the reason that an appointment is required for any owner with VP to enter his/her own unit?
  3. When can they obtain the CCC (Certificate of Completion and Compliance)?
  4. What is their definition of ‘Practical Completion’?

He also pointed out that despite the notice of Vacant Possession and issuance of keys to some owners, there is no electricity or water supply to any unit in the whole of Block E.

According to the developer, this is because they have not turned on the main power and water supplies.

 

Empire City Damansara Photos From Another Owner

Another owner reached out to me with concerns about the work progress and quality of the work done so far on his/her unit. These are pictures taken in early February of a SOHO unit in Block D :

We’re waiting for more details from the owner, but as we understand, the owner was offered the keys to the unit but refused to accept them. We will update the article with more details and photos when we get them.

Go Back To > First Page of Empire City Damansara In Trouble?

 

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