DBKL LAND SALE NEEDS SCRUTINY AND A HIGH DEGREE OF ACCOUNTABILITY-MINISTER KHALID SAMAD MUST TELL ALL
PRESS STATEMENT 18 OCTOBER 2018
PETALING JAYA (Thursday): C4 Center is extremely concerned with the recent developments surrounding the DBKL land sales to private developers worth 4.28 billion ringgit, where a lack of clarity and opaque explanations from current FT Minister Khalid Samad, have left the current status of the land deals appearing suspicious.
These transactions took place under the purview of the former Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
“These parcels of DBKL land are in every corner of Kuala Lumpur. Prime land worth billions. We need complete answers on these questionable sales without proper procedure or open tender. The sale of these lots must be suspended until MACC completes their investigations.”— Cynthia Gabriel, C4 Center
In May 2018, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng lodged a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate 64 plots of land which were supposedly sold by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) without following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), such as the sale being conducted without open tender, absence of valuation reports, and the sale value being below market price.
Moreover, FT Minister Khalid Samad has remarked that there was no significant shortfall within DBKL’s operating budget, and therefore it is puzzling why DBKL would need to sell off these lands.
Subsequently, a Special Task Force has been set up by the Federal Territories Ministry to “come up with win-win solutions” to manage a total of 97 dubious DBKL land transactions.[i] Its report was handed to the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, in August.[ii]
Last week, FT Minister Khalid Samad announced that 23 transasctions had been successfully renegotiated to increase government returns by 149 million ringgit, as well as repossessing land worth 113.9 million ringgit.[iii]
Additionally, MACC has cleared 48 of the earlier 64 plots of land over allegations of corruption.
However, C4 Center would like to highlight that despite the current FT minister’s apparent work to salvage these questionable deals, these deals still beg answers on how they came to being in the first place, why SOPs were not followed, and if anyone has been punished for failing to follow these SOPs?
C4 Center will not accept that DBKL can remain so easily be manipulated through “top-down instructions” from the FT minister. We need assurance that accountability and transparency is taken seriously, and that measures are taken such that dubious transactions in all federal territories can be prevented.
We urge the Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad to address the following:
(1) give a public explanation on what MACC investigations have revealed and the state of the uncleared land transactions;
(2) to halt the sale of the remaining questionable property transactions;
(3) to explain in Parliament how this has happened and the kinds of reform that he intends to take as preventive measures;
(4) for the MACC to investigate Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan in their involvement in the land deals; and,
(5) For Members of Parliament of Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur to show greater concern over such serious activity occurring in their own backyard.
We reassert our call for greater scrutiny over sale of government assets and property, and demand the right to know and greater transparency over the dealings of government procurement and sales of property.
Cynthia Gabriel (Ms.)
Executive Director, C4 Center
[iii] https://malaysiadateline.com/kerajaan-peroleh-rm149-juta-selepas-jualan-tanah-dbkl-dirundingkan-semula/; official press release: http://kwp.gov.my/images/berita-pengumuman/2018/10102018-SIARAN%20MEDIA%2023%20LOT%20TANAH%20DBKL.pdf