Developer says Felda’s KL land transferred to secure funding

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd (Synergy Promenade) has come up with the explanation on the controversy surrounding the transfer of titles of Felda land on Jalan Semarak here.

In a statement here today, a Synergy Promenade spokesman said the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City was to be built on parcels of land owned by Felda at Jalan Semarak, comprising three towers — 68 storeys, 75 storeys and 70 storeys — with a gross development value (GDV) totalling RM2.5 billion.

He said to meet the financing needs for the project, the company transferred some of the land titles to secure funding.

However, he said following the transfer of land titles, there were several allegations made against the company, such as abuse of power, corruption and misconduct.

“For the record, the transfer of land titles was in accordance with the agreement reached between Synergy Promenade, Felda and Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC),” he said.

“We have also complied with the proper procedures and conditions through the Land and Mines Office,” he said.

He added that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki had previously stated that there was no element of corruption or abuse of power over the transfer of land titles.

“MACC’s investigation showed there was weakness in governance, and this matter was subject to police investigation.

“Subsequently, police also closed the investigation and concluded that no further action would be taken,” he said.

He said if Synergy Promenade had intended to transfer the titles for its own interests instead of the development, as Felda had alleged, the company could then sell the parcels of land directly to a third party.

“Instead, we transferred the titles to our name, thus causing us to bear the costs associated with such transfers such as the high stamp duty,” he said.

Of the 24 parcels of land listed in the agreement, he said Synergy Promenade only transferred 16 titles, necessary for the development of the three towers, as required by Felda.

The company had also duly informed the Felda management over the transfer of the titles within a reasonable time-frame.

But there was no feedback received and it was only several months later (after the transfer process was carried out) that the company was called for a meeting, he said.

“During the meeting, we explained to Felda the reasons behind the transfer.

“However, Felda refused to accept it and insisted that the titles be returned to them, and Felda had also chosen to broadcast it through the media,” he said.

He said following the controversy, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the return of the titles to Felda was signed between Synergy Promenade and the agency to enable the development of the project to proceed and to avoid further controversy.

He said Felda agreed to accept the land titles and promised to help resolve the crisis.

“Thus far, we only had one meeting with Felda and it gave us an assurance that we are to receive a proposal on this matter.

“Unfortunately, until today, we have not received any proposal even though we have given them several reminders.

“Now the six-month period stipulated in the MoU has passed, thus rendering the agreement null and void,” he said.

Synergy Promenade had written several times to Felda requesting feedback pertaining to the resolution on the development project, he added.

He said one of the MoU’s terms stipulated that the transfer of titles must be carried out in accordance with the proper procedures and laws.

There were two parcels of land subject to caveats where the authorisation from the state government was required for the process of transfer of land titles, he said.

“In accordance with the proper procedure, we need to submit an application to the Federal Territory Land and Mines Office (PTGWP) to obtain the approval from the authority and the issuance of a letter of consent to transfer.

“However, before we submitted the application, we were surprised to learn that the titles of the two parcels of land had already been transferred to and registered under Felda.

“Subsequently, we had written letters asking for clarification from the PTGWP several times on this matter,” he said, adding that thus far no feedback had been received.

“We are of the opinion that there is a possibility of abuse of power, and the transfer process of the titles of the two parcels of land did not follow the proper procedures and we will lodge a report to the MACC on this issue,” he said.

At the same time, he said Synergy Promenade hopes to hold discussions with Felda’s new chairman Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, but as of today, the company had yet to receive any constructive feedback from the agency.

“The proper solution should be done in the interest of all parties — Synergy Promenade, Felda and FIC.

“But if this is not the case, we have no other choice and will not hesitate to resort to legal action against Felda and/or FIC to enable us to obtain reasonable compensation,” he said.