Deputy Federal Territories Minister Loga Bala Mohan Jaganathan has denied the allegation that a 13ha plot of land was sold to an “Umno crony.”
Loga Bala Mohan was responding to a question from Tan Kok Wai (DAP-Cheras) on the rationale behind the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) selling the plot of land at below market value.
The transaction, Tan pointed out, had also caused the Health and Environment Department of DBKL to be relocated to Taman Tasik Pudu Ulu from Batu 2 1/2 Jalan Cheras.
“The department was forced (to move) because the land was sold to ‘xxx’, an Umno crony company, with the approval of the federal territories minister.
“I ask why was the original land sold at below market price, and why was the construction cost (of the new building), which is close to RM35 million, borne by DBKL?” he asked during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He further questioned if the government would compensate the “crony” company for any delay in the completion of the project.
“The new building should be completed in May according to schedule, why the delay?” he asked.
Loga Bala Mohan brushed off Tan’s allegation, saying that DBKL benefitted from the land deal as it charged the buyer above market price.
“What you said about the fact (of the land deal) was untrue. The policy of DBKL is to sell (its) land at 20 percent above market price,” he said.
“On the Umno crony, I don’t know (anything about it). I don’t know where you got it (the information), I don’t know. There is no such (Umno crony) list, I don’t have it, nor does DBKL,” he said.
The deputy minister, however, confirmed that DBKL forked out RM35 million for the construction of the new Health Department building.
“On the delay (of the construction), this we could not identify (initially), but we sensed it during the construction stage.
“However, we have ways to (resolve the problem) as we engaged with consultants. I don’t see why this would bring any harm to us,” he noted.
When contacted, Tan said the company in question, which started off as a textile business operator in Batu Pahat, had purchased few plots of lands in Kuala Lumpur.
“I don’t know what it wants the land for, it has purchased another plot of land in Cheras, but there is development yet.
“When the deputy minister said the land was sold 20 percent above market price, it is not true. DBKL sold the land according to the valuation of the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH).
“But JPPH conducted the valuation in a rather conservative manner. What I am saying is that the land could have been sold at a higher price via open tender,” he told Malaysiakini.
According to Tan, the plot of land was sold at a price of RM380 million in 2013.
“Do not think that is a lucrative land deal. You need to know that the land is located near Sunway Velocity Mall, it is prime land,” he said, adding that prime land near Bukit Bintang was sold at RM7,000 psf just a few years ago.