Buyers Demonstrate Outside Malacca Mall Over Developer’s Alleged Delayed Projects, S’poreans Among Those Affected

Hatten Group Faces Protests, Police Reports Over Delays In Malacca Project

After paying for properties under Hatten Group’s Harbour City project in Malacca, owners have been left wondering what happened to them as they aren’t complete, years after they put down payments for them.

The projects are under Hatten Group, which although based in Malaysia, is owned by Singaporeans.

Buyers demonstrate in Malacca over delayed projects

Francis Ng, who owns House of Seafood, is among those who invested in the project. He told MS News that he’d spent over RM500,000 (~S$150,000) buying a property at Harbour City in 2015, but to date, it hasn’t been finished.

After the buyers got together via group chat, they decided to stage a demonstration outside ElementX, a shopping mall in Malacca, on Saturday (18 Mar).

Source: Facebook

According to Mr Ng, many Singaporeans and Malaysians have been affected by these unfinished developments.

Source: Facebook

Buyers have been told that the developments will continue to be built, but so far, these have not materialised.

Hatten Group said in a statement to MS News that “only two properties” are currently still under construction, with the other developments, including ElementX and Imperio Mall, completed and delivered to buyers.

Picture of Harbour City in Malacca, taken on 17 Mar. Image courtesy of Francis Ng

“Due to the pandemic, these two projects were delayed and the reasons were communicated to buyers of our properties,” a Hatten Group spokesperson said.

Hatten Group responds

Although the developments are in Malacca, Hatten Group is based in Singapore and was started by two brothers, Colin and Edwin Tan.

They have been publicly listed on the Singapore Exchange since 2017.

Hatten Group responded on Facebook acknowledging the demonstration. Representatives had been at ElementX talking to some of the protesters.

Source: Hatten Group

We kindly request that our esteemed purchasers exercise caution when posting negative feedback about our projects,” the statement read.

It also warned that negative posts “may impede our [the group’s] efforts to revive our [the group’s] projects and their success”, and advised purchasers to await their progress reports.

Hatten Group also noted that it has terminated its agreement with Tayrona Capital, who had agreed to purchase Harbour City.

It is now gathering resources to resume construction, it said, with contractor mobilisation and safety checks on its structure completed.

Police reports made

Even before the protest, several buyers had already filed police reports against Hatten Group.

A police report made by a Singaporean and seen by MS News details how they were promised that “a public listed company will not run away”. So they put down a downpayment of RM59,970 (~S$17,900), RM12,466 (~S$3,700) security deposit, and an in-house loan of RM374,000 (~S$103,000) with 0% interest.

However, in 2020, the Harbour City project was reportedly suspended pending a third-party acquisition with Tayrona, a Singapore-based firm.

The one who made the police report said there have been no updates on the Tayrona deal, although Hatten Group has since responded that an SGX announcement was made on 14 Feb regarding the Tayrona Capital agreement termination.

A separate swap deal that was offered has also seen no progress since. Hatten Group clarified that the swap deal “was contingent upon the successful acquisition of Harbour City by Tayrona Capital.

“Unfortunately, as the acquisition did not materialise as planned, it is not possible to proceed with the swap deals,” it told MS News.

“We do not know if the project will really be completed and our hard-earned money will [ever] be returned to us, as Hatten is a listed company and they have. . . lawyers to turn things to their favour,” the person who made the police report said.

Mr Ng also told MS News he believes that he and others have been “scammed” as each Hatten Group project has faced similar difficulties.

Despite promises that the projects will be built, Mr Ng thinks they were merely delaying tactics and doesn’t hold out hope that they will fulfil their promises.

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