We believe transactions adhere to proper regulations and procedures, mayor says
by AFIQ AZIZ & LYDIA NATHAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has commenced investigations into the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) RM4.28 billion land deals, which were allegedly underpriced and sold to friendly parties of the previous government.
Mayor Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz confirmed that the probe by the anti-graft agency started about three months ago and DBKL has cooperated fully with the authority.
“Since then, the National Audit Department has also come out with a report detailing the matter. We believe the transactions adhere to the proper regulations and procedures,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Two DAP MPs filed an official complaint with the MACC over the sale of 64 land plots by DBKL to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) between 2013 and 2018.
The transactions, believed to have happened between 2013 and 2018, involved 64 plots or 171.7ha, an area that could fit 63,450 cars. Land is scarce in Kuala Lumpur and its value is skyrocketing.
Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng had claimed the land deals were done without open tenders and were transacted below the market price.
He also noted that less than half of these transactions went to public housing under Rumah Wilayah Persekutuan (Rumah WIP), with the rest ending up in the hands of developers for high-end developments.
Lim called for these luxury developments, which had already started, to be halted.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh also lodged a similar report with the MACC against YWP, over the Taman Rimba Kiara development, which had stirred anger among residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Yeoh had demanded former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to explain the sale of the Taman Rimba Kiara land.
Tengku Adnan, who was also YWP chairman, had denied the foundation’s involvement in the 12-acre (4.86ha) deal, according to a report by Malaysiakini.
A check by TMR on the YWP website showed the absence of Tengku Adnan as the board members’ page is being updated.
Among the land deals listed involving YWP are a 0.51-acre land in Taman Tun Dr Ismail sold for RM11.58 million and earmarked for a mixed development project, a 0.76-acre plot in Taman Desa (RM11.17 million/263-unit of serviced apartments) and a 0.9-acre land in Bukit Jalil (RM14.4 million/954-unit of serviced apartments).
On Saturday, Lim revealed the top three companies that had benefitted from the land deals. He claimed that 92.02acre, 70.14-acre and 8.32-acre plots were sold to three different firms respectively.
Lim said these companies have close links with the leaders of the previous government and the deals were done without open tenders.
“All these are ‘hanky panky’. If it was really sold to enrich the government, then why couldn’t it be sold to government-linked companies to build houses. That would have doubled the enrichment.”
He also claimed some of the purchasers did not pay the full amount and were scurrying to do so after the election.
“I’ve asked the mayor to stop collecting payments until the investigations are completed,” Lim said.
The mayor, however, said he would have to wait for a new federal territories minister to be appointed. He is expected to officially meet all the 11 MPs today.
Lim also asked the mayor to freeze and halt any proposals or plans for developments that have not started.
The legal department of one of the companies that were alleged to have purchased 70 acres of the DBKL land declined to comment.