We can debate until the cow comes home (after one day of eating grasses) on some issues or we can decide to make things work transparently in the future. We are talking about land deals involving the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) over the past few years. The total transactions numbered 97. The total plots of lands involved numbered over 100. This is the article in StraitsTimes of Singapore. This was what the new Federal Territory Minister Khalid Samad said, “our goal wasn’t to determine elements of corruption but to ensure that the deals don’t cause City Hall any losses. He said, “Since we have no access to investigate bank accounts of those involved, we’ve focused on whether those lands were sold at a reasonable price or not.”
Khalid shared that some RM149 million has been recovered after the government renegotiated terms on 16 land deals with the developers. “The government was also able to get back 5ha of land valued at RM113.8 million,” he added. He also said that 43 of the scrutinised deals were, nevertheless, allowed to proceed because they involve affordable housing projects. The investigation found that developers could buy land cheaply by promising to build affordable housing on it under the FT Ministry’s Rumah Wilayah Persekutuan (Rumawip) programme. (concluded under the previous Barisan Nasional government.) Please refer to the StraitsTimes Singapore for the full article as reference.
There were no mention about what’s going to happen moving forward. Perhaps it’s best to really push for full transparency in all land deals involving DBKL from now onwards? Perhaps it’s best to publish all the affordable plans to the public for some consultations instead? The land parcels belong the DBKL which in turn are supposed to protect the interests of the people. Frankly, for the cases where it is now in the court, this will be taking a very long time. I just hope buyers of some of these affordable home projects are not the ones who suffer. As for the future, it’s simple. Let’s do it more systematically (know if there are real demands first) and transparently (the highest bidder wins) through public auctions perhaps. It’s like that in most advanced property markets; open tender / public auction.
written on 20th Oct 2018
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