Gangster contractors

Public Voices (Guest Post)

As a new homeowner living on Penang island, it has come to my attention that they are certain developers who allow gangsters to run renovation projects and businesses within their premises.

The process goes like this: The developer who is either most probably involved in such activities or has come to an agreement with local gangs for not causing trouble within their given area, fails to inform potential buyers that they will have to deal with these gangsters for the renovation work.

The gangsters will then set up tables at every elevator entrance to monitor who goes up and down when OC is obtained. They provide sand and tiles and one even has to get cooking gas from them. They will set up a show unit and charge exorbitant fees for their renovation projects and should you decide to take from them, you will not have to pay any renovation deposit.

They will indirectly extort money from the residents by blocking any other contractors from carrying out their work. The contractors will eventually request this payment from the owner or include it into the bill.

Another contractor mentioned that when a resident refuses to pay, the thugs will let them complete the work and in the evening, go up and smash somethings. The process will keep repeating until we give in. Even if you allowed the gangsters to do the renovation, metal fittings in your home will still go missing. When you complain to them about the missing items, they will say that they are not security but in the renovation business!

These gangsters make an average of RM500 to RM1,000 per unit if we just decide to pay the extortion fees. They will make more if we decide to engage them to do the renovation project. They will not move out until at least 90% of the residents have moved in. Just do the math how much they will make if there are 500 units.

I hope that the public will start highlighting such cases and demand that the authorities do something about this issue. The residents should sue the developer for hiding this information and demand that the authorities ban and blacklist such developers.



(This article is from The Star Metro)


November 5, 2008 at 3:08 PM奇雲哥斯拿

100% agreed with what you said.

November 5, 2008 at 3:39 PMJoseph

I also agreed and personally I am facing this. I even complaint to the rocket guy and Penang state goverment but end up nth seem improve. No action taken at the end....This situation is worsen day after day and no law is implemented to prevent this "money sucking" gangster from our housing area. Their renovation work is BAD, quality BAD, attitute BAD, EVERYTHING BAD from them!!!

Wondering how such a business can survive in Penang yet no legal action been taken. Is that mean all the MP and "respective" officer and developer having thier pocket open widely for some extra "income" from this "abang contractors"???? Where is their promise during election to take care the mutual benefit for all residence in Penang???? i think this is only for "abang contractors" who benefit a lot....our community is totally corrupted with such a leader!!

If someone can bring this up to higher level of officer then it would be great. STRICT LAW SHOULD BE ENFORCED BY GOVERNMENT TO FIGHT AGAINST THIS "GANGSTER"

November 5, 2008 at 6:05 PMchinatown

finally, at least somebody wrote something on this issue!!! But, i hope this wouldn't ended only a story reading by all people.

Those relevant authorities please do something! You are paid to work for the public!

I also have a few friends having the same problems!!! Yet, seems that everybody just accept it silently, nothing much can be done :(

I did email to our newly elected "Rocket" party and end up replied to me as "Yes, we notice about this practices in Pg"...that it is. No further actions as far as I concern.

November 5, 2008 at 11:59 PMYoungDurian

This is what you call Mafia. The developer who allow such practice should be named so no one will buy from them again. This should make them more responsible.

November 6, 2008 at 12:53 PMVista Gambier

Try provide more details to the DAP assemblymen like apartment and developer name. I'm sure they will try to help if you approach them more often.

I think they are certainly more helpful than useless Gerakan/MCA who only knows how to 'bodek' UMNO guys.

November 6, 2008 at 1:01 PMmervyn

This has been issue in Penang. I applaud the person who wrote this and Million thanks to him/her to brought this to the public.

Those thug is going overboard and im not sure how is this culture being live in Penang island. This is part of reason i bought a LANDED house in mainland. Island property is just overrated and full with gangster

November 7, 2008 at 4:41 PMPENANG

the main reason is the area. not the developers. most of them are protected and related to political party like MCA. remember a photo shown in paper a wanted person with ex MCA strong man few yrs ago?

November 7, 2008 at 4:52 PMPENANG

those area include part of tg bungah, greenlane, sg2 n bt gambir, sg ara, relau, perak road n jelutong.... as well as there are gated project they will mostly be there. the worst is the jelutong and tg bungah, use the lift also need to pay. those developers management sure got masuk lah...... ways suggested to overcome those issue: 1. buy 2nd hand projects. need to see also some of the project they take care forever. 2. keep all the bills and report to minister of trade dept as most of the items are sold above controlled price. 3. for new projects sign the SnP with xtra clause to protect yourselves. if the developers fail to do, amount of money will be charged. make it into black n white. 4. if you hv bought those projects, don't move in so fast if you can. if you cannot wait, just do the minor renovation as grill works and wiring work first. if the gangster want to charge for the moving cost, ask them to put up a quotation. then pressure the developer. if they tidak apa, then publish it to every1. blacklist the developer. 5. if you want to make police report, make sure the police knows that you will cc copies to anti rasuah, opposition party, related council. make this issu become a political issue. then th police hv no choicebut to grapp some of them.

November 7, 2008 at 4:59 PMPENANG

bellview - perak road project and IJM -bayswater, ocean view(maybe the spring)same gangster. idea propertis projects at gambir height all with another gang. IOI with another gang. the company name always changed. so not easy to capture. but the peoplle will be the same. remember some of those company has also established, so the boss might be also got dato'ship. so fight with them with wisdom

November 7, 2008 at 9:06 PMnic

do u check correctly? I stay at bayswater, but dun hv this gangster problem, n my frenz at alpine also didnt face this issue.

November 8, 2008 at 4:45 PMAnglo Wax

It happened at BaysWater on the first few months after OC passed. Most of the buyers are from other states or countries hence they are willing to sign a petition. We (Unit owners) collected names and signature and request IJM to do something about it. After that IJM somehow pressure the "contractors" and they moved away.

November 9, 2008 at 10:34 AMchinatown

hi Anglo Wax, that is great and can you explain further how to deal with about it? this will benefits all residents in Pg :)

November 10, 2008 at 4:57 PMJin

IJM projects already pay for the gangster money. I heard from my fren who is working in IJM, the fees is actually included inside your Snp. That why the price of IJM condo is much higher.

November 11, 2008 at 10:44 PMJoseph

I also experienced and complaint to our MPPP and our belove "Rocket" leaders but end up nth happen...they cant really help much unless the Malaysia government or ministry set a law/regulation to overcome this issue. Perhaps "they" are resuah as well....then nth we can do but let them "suck" our money....
I suggest someone forward this forum to all DAP's leader so that they can really understand what is actually facing by all resident in Penang. We are suffering because of this gangster. We need to do something here. Or at least let them know our concern here and hope for helping hand.

November 11, 2008 at 11:06 PMPenangites

There's nothing much state govt can do. Firstly, "the business" is legal, proper deal has been strucked between the developer and the gangsters. It largely depends on the developer since it is within their own area to allow the gangsters to operate. Only very few developer in Penang decided not to proceed the deal with the gangsters, one of it is Harta Intan Ventures, the developer who built Palm Palladium. The owner of PP consider lucky as they can choose their own renovation co. freely.

Secondly, housing laws are under Ministry of Housing and Local Govt. Hence, State Govt unable to intervene. The proper channel to complaint is to Minister of Housing and Local Govt, Dato Seri Ong KC, i.e. BN Govt.

November 12, 2008 at 4:47 AMtheBrezza

Agree with the above statement. Those gangster contractors are just like any other outsider contractor, except they have privileges to operate exclusively within the premise of the developer. Both the gangster contractor and the developer are not on the other side of law, unless they up to a stage of hurting you or your family (and only valid with concrete evidence). They may pressurize you or even harass you, but isn’t the police should be the one (but won't happen la) to take action against those threatening your security? They are the right party to be hold responsible, but seem like nobody bothered or dare to demand/expect anything from them anymore. In addition, those gangster contractors are legal entities if they properly register their company.

All I am saying all this fall into grey area, and be fair to our state government and DAP, they are not superman party. Please don’t blame those irrelevant while indulge those in charge of shaping the law and the execution of law. Lastly, forget about Ong KC la.....

November 12, 2008 at 6:11 PMchinatown

hi Joseph, i did forwarded this link to MR. Lim Guan Eng & the other partner of DAP few days ago. Hope there is some reply from them. Will keep you guys posted :)

November 14, 2008 at 4:28 PMJoseph

hi Chinatown, thanks a lot. Somehow I agree with Penangites and theBrezza that DAP and the team is not the one to be blamed. At least we need their help with thier current role played in Parliment or any other government sectors, so that they know what is Penangites facing with our new property and hope they can bring this topic up to the relevant party. It is better to let the Penang leader to fight for us rather than we as a normal citizen to fight for ourselves to our BN central government (which is useless and powerless)....If Mr Lim Guan Eng and the teams can help to resolve then it is a plus for them and will get more credit from Penangites for the next election. If they have try but fail to solve then we should not blame on them as they have tried their best. This gangsterism activities exist in Penang for N-years and the previous authority seem like never take any action and the situation getting worst nowadays. With the new state government, at least we have a new hope and give them some time to find out the solution.

December 22, 2008 at 9:40 AMAnonymous

Hi! Is there any feedback from the state government pertaining this issue?

December 22, 2008 at 2:53 PMAnonymous

You must understand that ....before a developer purchase a empty land to develope,there are a lot of quarter's (rumah setinggan) and normaly those landlord that sell out the land dont include vacant position.Then how you all think the developer chase out the original people staying there?? If youi said by law,how long do you all think that a court order can be given? 1 year? 2 year?3 year?Who is going to pay all the interest to the bank?Some more you need PTG consent,polis consent,bomba,TNB,PBA,land office,Town Planning department.Indah Water....etc.Some more a lot of the original people who live there ,some are not educated at all,very very hard to negotiate with them,some even demand for 2 unit of house,
but just 2 family member currently staying,how do you think that the developer can solve all these problems?Even Superman also 'mati cepat'.So the best way is to give it back to the local gangster to handle everything by paying them some incentive and let them have the priority to the renovation works after the O.C approve.And thats why these problem can never be solve,if you really dont like it then dont buy it,or you wait until 2 year then move in.If not be prepare to pay.

January 7, 2009 at 8:32 AMAnonymous

I'm not agree with the above statement. We have goverment and we have laws... we got police and we pay our tax (we pay their salary)! When this issue happen, they should solve our problem and protect our rights. If we stay here and because of 'someone' who are bigger stone and press us smaller crabs and we can't even buy our own property with our own hard earn money, is this the new century living enviroment? This issue is like a cancer cells inside our body. We should 'hu-ha' to newspress and public. Make this as an issue to the public so that it can draw police attention and hopefully with this presure they can doing something atleast for a period of time. I will forward this link to some newspaper soon. Hopefully our rights will be protected.

January 9, 2009 at 8:07 PMchinatown

Yes, that' s right. we cannt take it for granded!!! That's why those gangsters take opportunity on us!! we must cooperate else this will continue forever...

February 26, 2009 at 4:10 PMJoseph

why this topic is being pulled out from the forum? i hardly find the link in this website. Initially it was placed under forum on the right hand side of the page. Now it has been removed. This is a good topic where it should be brought up and put in the most striking location.

March 30, 2009 at 5:18 PMSerina

I think we should put a stop to this, we can form rukun tetangga just like in the 60s and 70s. The residence must stand up to this unscrupulous act that defied our basic rights to equality, and freedom of the house buyer. The police must also cooperate with us to 'threathen' those who 'threathen' the common people.

April 21, 2009 at 10:15 AMMADAM:ZOORA

seriously?? scary ....

May 12, 2009 at 8:17 PMGood

Really can not understand that government not take action or concern in this issue? My developer even told me that there will be gangster contrator coming after the house developed soon. Just wonder the developer already but they still not take action. Seem like they are under one roof ... This only happend for condo, apartment or flat because the residents depand on the lift. For landed property, the cases are less .......
I think the politician will not care about it .... This is a difficult and take long time to settle .... they rather doing other to solve easy & high publicity event like charity event to give speak nia .... no matter which party also same lar ...... so dissapointed....

May 14, 2009 at 2:36 PMchinatown

now sri kristal at Farlim also facing this problem!! they are asking RM 700 of rubbish fees from some residents. this is ridicolous. why need to pay them?? anyone can help?

May 14, 2009 at 11:22 PMmutiara

Chinatown, nothing new, the same contractor covered all projects in Farlim, including Asia Heights and other projects nearby.

The developers are fully aware of that.

May 15, 2009 at 10:54 AMchinatown

ya i know, infact whole PG has the same practice. Just wondering what have been done by government & police?? if everybody just keep on quiet then they will continue to tk opportunities!! wake up Pg Lang, You dont want your hard earn $ wasted, right.

May 15, 2009 at 10:48 PMmutiara

It's a legal deal. How u expect state govt and police to intevene.

The contractor did pay the developer in replace to take charge of the works done in the apartment.

More or less like u patronise a certain coffee shop in Penang, eg. the one behind Great Eastern Bldg at Esplanade who impose certain chgs even if u don't order a drink. They'll charge u min. amount. This is their area, they may impose certain rules, even to us as a consumer/buyer, consider unfair and ridiculous.
Not exact the same case but just an example.

One of the option is to report or bring yr case to Consumer group or a complaint tribunal, consult them and see whether you have a case on the contractor.

Like u said "if everybody keep quiet...", then, ask yrself, have u taken any action so far or just merely vent yr frustration in this forum.
Usually most buyers tend to have lot of reservation in taking action, with reason fear the so called "gangsters". If u r also one of them. Then, just go on with it and pay the contractor or just be patient wait for 3 years before move in yr new home.
No one will help u, if u don't help yrself.

That's all i can advice.

May 16, 2009 at 2:43 PMGood

the surface is legal but 1 thing is the contractor not own the bulding. Why should we "must" let them have some project to deal with .... are you one of the so called "gangster"?
if the kopitiam want to have min charge, then i have the choice to choose not to go. But this is no choice. Understand?
Why only penang happend? because no one want to care or there are something happend behind. still unknown.

May 16, 2009 at 5:33 PMmutiara

This is an open secret. Not only just happen in one or two years. It has happened even before SK start piling or to be precise more than a decade ago. Just unlucky, if you dunno in advance before buying SK. or else u can refuse to buy too. Like kopitiam case.

Anyway, no point argue this now. We can argue until the cows come home.
Most important is what can you do or what have u done to change the contractor thingy ? or u r just another fella who merely voice yr disappointment in here and waiting for someone to do a favor for u or waiting for someone to take the lead.

May 16, 2009 at 11:17 PMJoseph

try to make a complaint to your near by YB and also send official letter to MPPP to complaint about this can go to and complaint...i know they cannot help much because I did that before and this is what they replied "housing laws are under Ministry of Housing, you can lodge complaint to the Minister, to complaint the developer of your project, then the Ministry will take action and black list the said developer. The State Government is not the authority to issue developer license. The State Government is only in-chrage on development and building plan, not much on issuing developer license. Further, pursuant to the Developer Act, only the Ministry of Housing can take action against the developer."
According to the YB, he did forward my complaint email to Ministry of Housing but no reply. Of course if just 1 letter is not enough, so I need all of you to do the same thing and make a least our voice can be heard even the chances are low...better than we din try anything....write an email won't take much of your time fren...u may send to Mr Yeoh ""

May 17, 2009 at 11:20 AMGood

joseph. Thank for you advice. you have clearly put in the step for the solution. please put the status if got any got news from your side. hope that it will work.then i will follow the step to make the complaint. thank you very much

May 17, 2009 at 11:40 AMmutiara

Joseph is spot on...
Housing Minister at Federal level is taking charge, not State Govt, on this matter. HDA is under Federal Govt purview.

Besides the one Joseph suggested, the other option is to complaint thru MCA, whose minister is taking charge of Minister of Housing and Local Government, Datuk Kong Cho Ha.

No action is too small to take. If those who just keep complaint without any action. The only finger you can pointed is yrself.

May 25, 2009 at 12:03 AMcheng

we should stick together to fight these illegal
activitices to protect our society and propety,
wealth n human right !!! ,
1. we need to analyse how they can come out ,
growth up until they can ignore anything
2. what are they , their background , who are
they sponser and supporter !!!
3. why they still unarrested ? is it something
have been done wrongly ? why authorities
no action have taken !!
4. to eliminate these illegal group , it is time taken , full courage and strong faith must have , much and many as one body is very important !!!
5. just do it !!!

September 14, 2009 at 2:31 AMShawn

for those who expressed their view on "eliminating' the so called "gangster contractor", why dont you try it for once to counter those contractor and see what will happen to you. my neighbour tried and end up losing his house's door before he can even move in. but of course without substantiate evidence we shouldnt be pointing fingers at other, but to fellow ignorant bloggers, my advice is saying it here in the blog is one thing but the experience of having walking towards the 'contractor' stationed below your newly bought apartment and telling him you dont want to use his service is another thing.dont risk the safety of you and your family over some gabbage collection fees or however they may call it. the bottom lines is that property buyer should made the developer signed an undertaking preventing the 'gangster contractor' from getting this kind (dont know what type of contract this may it called)contract and operate in this way. Buyer can sue the developer if harassed by the gangster in later stage. just dont be hero as hero only appears in Marvels Comic and not in Penang as you dont wanted to be waking up knowing your main door is removed. hahaha... smart up!

September 14, 2009 at 2:43 AMShawn

one more thing, forget about any Hollywood-tical Party in Penang that might help you settle this problems as most of them are cannot even repair the door in their own house, some are good in pointing at uncovered manhole for newspaper pictures but none ever raised this issue.(wonder why ler?)..we're on our this time being 'just pay lor', 'just wait lor', 'just squeeze ourself below hard hard lor'.. after all 'semua orang mau cari makan ma'

October 25, 2009 at 11:36 AMWatcher

Ban all those MAFIA DEVELOPERS whose project is infested by this GANGSTER CONTRACTOR. Developer is also the culprit and sure have share in the profit. E & O project does not have this problem because the developer does not collaborate with them. Also owners have to form JMB quickly, JMB can then take control of the management rather then to be at the mercy of the developer who is responsible in putting all these GANGSTER there. When the Gangster Contractor is there and the developer is the management co, it is useless to complain to the developer because the management ppl would tell you ' why not let them do it?' = management ppl also have profit!

February 22, 2010 at 5:30 PMovek

So after years, the same problem prevails. Apartment after apartment, condo after condo.

March 15, 2010 at 12:19 AMa fainting heart

penang is just so full of these gangster and their territorial shit;even the death's land i.e. cemetery also have this practice. i.e. building of tombstone only by their specific gangster. if you bring in your own ppl, you will be harassed. sorry for off topic, but i m just stating a point of how fcuk up this island is.

March 31, 2010 at 4:13 PMEric Kang

guys, i read and read saying that it is not the jurisdiction of the pg govt and put the blame on the fed govt, but seriously, why is this 'activity' of monopoly by certain ppl only rampant in penang? y not in kl selangor area?

May 19, 2010 at 11:14 AMJasonwong2010

D Piazza Condo- Gangster Contractor is real blood sucker!!!!! The management office Robert Bench do nothing. The developer X Scan Penang Sdn Bhd ask you to write in officialy to complain.

A purchaser of D Piazza Condo lodge police report and reported in the Star Newspaper. Where is our Barisan Nasional/ Pakatan Rakyat politicians? Who can protect us from this gangster? We paid so much money to buy a condo in this Penang island, so expensive yet have to wait for 1 year to wait for this gangster to move out, only then we can renovate our unit. This is really cruel, unreasonable, no justice!!! What can we do to get this gangster contractor out from D Piazza condo??? We also afraid of our family safety if we complain publicly. Please help us.

The Star write up below:
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.

May 25, 2010 at 1:00 PMJoseph

this is penang...take it or leave it...nth we can do...police cannot help, YB cannot help, ministry cannot help...who to help us? i personaly experieced this before and complaint to all channel, end up, nth will happen or change for jz wait n wait till they leave the place or collect less $$ after 2 years...

August 10, 2010 at 11:00 AMYB Lim

Your are wrong, actually YB and police can help. But the 1st thing is the owner should cooperate with them and report to police. It's because most of the owners they scare to get trouble from in house contractor so they don't want to report. Yourself also don't want to help, then what to do???

January 13, 2011 at 9:23 PMdion

i agree if developer get one renovation contractor to control all renovation activities at building because many renovation contractor at same place will be a trouble.fighting to use lift,lift vandalism,rubbish or waste material not clear,renovate without rule from cannot control this problem.if developer get a mafia like this sure under control.just my opinion.

February 15, 2011 at 9:12 PMewelee

the easiest way to solve is developers can give a basic standard of finishes when they develop a place. in singapore, the developers will give a basic finishes such as 2'x2' tiles, full height tiles at kitchen and all bathrooms, solid timber flooring,kitchen cabinet and wardrobe system. so there will be much easier for everybody.

April 21, 2011 at 11:16 PMPPVE

Anyone own a property from SP Setia in Penang? I heard that SP Setia property in Setia Pearl Island also being controlled by gangster. Lately, SP Setia Vista in Relau (phase 1 and 2) just got the OC. Do anyone know that Setia Vista having the same problem?

October 4, 2011 at 3:12 PMElson

this only happen in penang island or same to penang mainland too?

March 14, 2013 at 1:30 PMjason

hi all my fren.....dont worry i am here try to help u all, of coz i am not say i'm good but try to assist u al.. i am INSP Lim from the CID' Penang, anti gangsterims department so in future if u all got any problem regarding this matter try to get me 013-4887118 or email: or

March 14, 2013 at 1:30 PMjason

hi all my fren.....dont worry i am here try to help u all, of coz i am not say i'm good but try to assist u al.. i am INSP Lim from the CID' Penang, anti gangsterims department so in future if u all got any problem regarding this matter try to get me 013-4887118 or email: or