MRB denies minister’s interference on land leasing

Former MRB chairman claims that Mohd Khairuddin had interfered in handling Lot 20012 and Lot 20013 on Jalan Ampang


THE Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) has dismissed claims that Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (picture) interfered with the leasing of the board’s two plots of land.

The board said according to the Malaysian Rubber Board (Inc) Act 1996 (Act 551) under Section 14, it is answerable to the minister, and the minister can give directions in accordance with the Act.

MRB was responding to the allegation made by its former chairman Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris, who claimed that Mohd Khairuddin had interfered in handling Lot 20012 and Lot 20013 on Jalan Ampang.

“The statement of the former chairman of MRB about the interference of the minister in the affairs of MRB or LGM Properties Corp (LGMPC) does not coincide with the powers of the minister stated enshrined in the act,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The rubber board explained that on Nov 30 last year, the MRB procurement board decided that Al-Noor Foundation had succeeded in the open tender process with the highest bid price of 70 sen per sq ft, which is in line with the valuation rate by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) of the Finance Ministry.

“The land lease process of Lot 20013, which was formerly known as Lot 76, for the period of 10 + five years has been carried out in an open tender by LGMPC in October 2020.

“Al Noor Foundation is a private limited company and is a non-profit-based company with the majority of its trustees are Malaysians and not Turkish citizens as stated by the former chairman,” it said.

The rubber board added that on Dec 3, 2020, MRB requested for final consideration and approval from the minister for the decision on the tender.

However, on Jan 7, 2021, the minister has instructed for the lease term to be extended to 15+10 years and reopened the request for proposal to the companies involved in the previous bidding process.

“Up till now, the action is in the process at the MRB and LGMPC level and has yet to be finalised. Therefore, the claim made by the former chairman stating that the minister requested for a 5+10+10 years lease period is not true.

“His claim on the revenue that could be generated by MRB after 25 years could exceed RM1 billion was also not true,” MRB said.

On Lot 20012, formerly known as Lot 75, MRB said there has not been a decision to sell the plot of land and the proposal has not been brought to the ministerial level for the minister’s review.

It added that MRB is still reviewing the land with JPPH and the National Heritage Department.

“MRB would like to reiterate that the decision-making process is being conducted transparently and with integrity by the board, followed by a review from the ministry before it is brought to the minister for recommendation and approval,” it said.