What’s wrong in selling land cheap for affordable homes, BN asks Kok

Eric-See-To-teressa-kokKUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional has described Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s allegation that Kuala Lumpur City Hall had sold leasehold land in Taman Desa below market value as “malicious and misleading”.

BN’s strategic communications unit deputy director Eric See-To turned the tables on Kok and asked the DAP leader to explain what was wrong with the federal government making a loss “in order to subsidise and ensure Malaysians have access to affordable housing”.

Kok had earlier today said the Auditor-General’s Report 2016 had revealed that City Hall had sold a piece of land to Garuda Searah Sdn Bhd, a developer for Residensi Desa Satumas, for RM24.07 million.

“If the project cost is RM24.07 million, it shows City Hall sold each square foot for RM74. But the land value of each square foot of land in Taman Desa is RM400.”

Other than City Hall selling the land below market price to the developer, Kok said the A-G’s report stated that the project had been done through a limited tender.

She noted that the A-G had expressed uncertainty as to whether the developer could undertake the project, given its lack of experience in this area.

See-To said Kok should acknowledge that the use of land was only for the purpose of building a federal affordable housing project under Rumawip, or the Federal Territories Affordable Housing programme.

The federal government, he said, planned to build 80,000 units of Rumawip from 2014 to 2018.

“Despite its strategic location near the city centre, this Taman Desa land cannot be used to build anything else — no luxury condos, offices or malls.

“Therefore, the land value cannot be compared with commercial land value, where the land can be used to build more profitable projects.”

See-To said the planned Residensi Desa Satumas would see the construction of 3,002 units priced at RM230,000 for a 850 square feet unit — or just RM270 psf.

“This is great value considering its location and hard to find in Kuala Lumpur.

“Compare this to the so-called ‘affordable housing’ in DAP-led Penang where units cost RM400 psf or more.

“The so-called ‘affordable housing’ towers being built on the site of the Tanjung Bungah project, where a fatal landslide happened recently, were selling at RM430,000 for a 800 sq feet unit — or more than RM500 psf — almost double the price of the Taman Desa project.”

He asked if Kok was “unhappy that more lower-income group people will now stay in your up-market constituency”.