RM150 million is refunds, not compensation, say TTDI residents

Residents are challenging the proposal for a development project in Taman Rimba Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents’ association (TTDI RA) has refuted remarks by a minister that the RM150 million to be paid to developers by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) if the Taman Rimba Kiara condominium project is cancelled is a form of compensation.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad had said the sum was based on a suit filed by the developers.

However, Leon Koay, the RA’s lead strategist and coordinator, said according to the court filings, it is not a claim for compensation, nor have any of the amounts stated been recognised as such by the court.

“From the summary, the developer states that it paid out about RM115 million in connection with the project.

“RM84.4 million of the total figure comprised land premiums (RM60.8 million) and DBKL development and infrastructure charges (over RM20 million).

“Another RM26 million comprised joint-venture (JV) payments to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP),” he told FMT.

He said this alone amounts to RM110 million, which will be refunded in exchange for the return of the 12 acres of land if the project is cancelled.

As for actual amounts spent on the project in the form of contractor and consultant payments and other miscellaneous items, he said these amounted to about RM5 million as of November 2017.

“These would be refunds, not compensation,” he said. “Refunds to be made by YWP, DBKL and the Federal Land and Mines Department for JV payments, development and other fees and land premiums.

“Compensation would be an extra amount forked out to the developer. A refund means you already have the money and you are just returning it to the person who paid it to you.”

He said this is an important distinction which the federal territories minister failed to highlight.

“It is not DBKL that has to compensate,” he said, adding that the potential exposure lies with YWP which is not a government entity.

Former National Human Rights Society president Ambiga Sreenevasan and lawyer Derek Fernandez recently questioned the accuracy of the RM150 million figure, saying the minister and Cabinet should take proper and independent legal advise on the matter and review the development process.