FT minister gives the company that put up ‘6-star’ office and restaurant on government land until end of month to come up with a solution.
KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is giving the owner of two “mystery buildings” on Medan Imbi until the end of the month to come forward, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said today.
Khalid said the two buildings — one an office “which looks like a six-star hotel” and the other a restaurant — had been built on two plots of land belonging to the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office.
He questioned how a development order had been issued when the land did not belong to either the company or DBKL.
“It is a miracle that the company was able to build on someone else’s land. It is so blatant to do this on government land.
“We are waiting for a response from the company, for them to suggest to us a solution.
“If there is no response, we will take it that they are not interested in saving the buildings,” he told reporters at a press conference here today.
Khalid said one option available to the company was to apply to buy the land at market price from the landowner, pay all the premiums, obtain the development approvals, and settle the fines which would be imposed.
The two plots of land, covering 9,000 sq ft per lot, are zoned as open space.
For the first plot, Khalid said, the company had on March 25, 2015, applied to rent the site to put up a double-storey building for eight years.
On Dec 4, 2015, a minister had allegedly ordered that the matter be expedited, Khalid said.
He said a development order was issued on June 17, 2016 for the construction of a restaurant. Three months later, DBKL’s one-stop centre had approved permission to build a six-storey building.
For the second plot, he said, the same company had written to DBKL for permission to build a temporary kiosk and the same minister had asked for the matter to be handled.
“On June 10, 2016, a development order was approved by DBKL to the company to build the temporary kiosk.
“At the time, they imposed a rent of RM16,000 a month to fruit sellers operating there.”
He said the project met with protests from two MPs — Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang) and Lim Lip Eng (Segambut).
Khalid said a report would be lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) this week on the existence of both buildings.
“We will ask for those involved to be investigated because these are signs that abuse of power and misappropriation existed in DBKL and the ministry at the time.
“It is wrong and unreasonable for the authorities to say they do not know about the matter. More so as protests had been made by these two MPs.
“The case had also been reported in the media.”
He said if the owner did not come forward, they would not rule out the possibility of having the buildings demolished.
On who would be investigated, Khalid said that would be up to MACC.
“Nonetheless, I am expecting they will say they were merely following instructions. I think they will use that as their defence.”
On who had signed off on the development orders, Khalid said it was a top official in the DBKL planning department, on the orders of the one-stop centre.
Khalid said there was also an internal investigation by DBKL’s integrity unit, and the report was received recently.
“No action was taken against anyone. Questions were raised, but there were no accusations against anyone.”