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Kg Baru, 6 months for KBDC and Land Acquisition Act 1960

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This has been in the news for quite some time. A 121 ha (13 million sq ft) plot of land in the middle of Kuala Lumpur and the government’s plan to redevelop it. Some would want to cash in their ownership of the plots of land and some are waiting for higher offer than what is available currently. The government is facing issue in getting Kg Baru landowners to agree to the offered acquisition package.

As reported earlier as well, a total of 2,200 owners have agreed to the package of RM1,000 per sq ft but this represents only 40 percent of the total 5,374 names which are listed as heirs to the plots of land and properties in Kg Baru. (click for earlier article here)

Article in themalaysianreserve.com Kg Baru Development Corp (KBDC) chairman Tan Sri Ambrin Buang recently admitted in a text reply to TMR that most of the plots viable for redevelopment as agreed by the owners are currently scattered.

The government is said to be currently in the middle of sourcing legal advice on the Land Acquisition Act 1960 (LAA). This is with the hope that LAA will help to move the redevelopment project forward. Nevertheless, a source said, “I think it is at the very early stage for now, but legal advice is being sought for an early preparation if such an act is needed later by next year.”

The latest price offered by the government is RM1,000 per sq ft, 15% of which will be in the form of shares in a special-purpose vehicle which will be established to facilitate the redevelopment. In a press conference last month, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad had reiterated that Putrajaya had no intention to use the LAA Act if all landowners understood and agreed with the development plan. Please refer to the full Article in themalaysianreserve.com

Every time someone tells me about freehold versus leasehold and says that freehold is forever and leasehold can be taken back by the government, I will remind them about LAA. If an expressway can benefit hundreds of thousands of people and it passes through a village and some village homes are blocking the expressway, then these homes even if they are freehold could be acquired at market rate.

I am not sure how LAA could be used to acquire Kg. Baru and it will be interesting to watch what happens in the next 6 months. The company which will be redeveloping Kg Baru is Kg Baru Development Corp (KBDC) and it has been given 6 months by the government to persuade the owners to accept the government’s offer. If KBDC does not succeed in their persuasion, then the government may delay the redevelopment or they have to step in. Happy understanding.

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