Najib takes jibe at Kok over shortfall in land sale allegation

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today took a jibe at Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok over her allegation that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration shortchanged and forced the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) to sell 2,800 acres of land for an undervalued price of RM1.5 billion in 2010.

At a press conference earlier, Kok had accused the Najib-led administration of approving and instructing the sale of the land located in Sungai Buloh, known as Lot 481, to Aset Tanah Negara Bhd (ATNB) – a special purpose vehicle – through direct sale.

She said the land was subsequently bought by Kwasa Land, a wholly-owned company under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), for a consideration of about RM2.28 billion, resulting in a RM800 million shortfall.

Najib, in a Facebook post, said Kok had accused BN of “forcing the government to sell government land to the government” and, after that, giving EPF the opportunity “to rake in billions in profit for EPF contributors”.

“The BN government then must have been so despicable in taking care of their cronies – the EPF contributors.

“The government must have been so cruel to carry out development projects, as announced under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he said, referring to the Kwasa Damansara development in Subang, which was part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development Project announced under the plan.

Najib also defended the sale of the land, which was equivalent to the price of RM18.70 per sq ft.

He said Kwasa Land had already begun building a new township, including housing for 150,000 people, at a gross development value of at least RM50 billion.

“At the time, analysts were of the view that the price of the land was reasonable and according to market rate,” he said.

Najib, the Pekan MP, also asked if Kok, who is the Seputeh MP, had no other work to do, such as to oversee the welfare of smallholders, increase the price of palm oil, and set up an oil palm club.

“If she is going to behave like that, I think it is better for her to refocus on her rubber tree umbrella plan, and also the oil palm ambassador plan,” he added.