Khalid cannot be minister and YWP head at same time, say residents

PETALING JAYA: A residents’ association (RA) at loggerheads with Putrajaya over the controversial development at Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail has maintained that there is conflict of interest with Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad also chairing the Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP).

Taman Tun Dr Ismail RA chairman Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar furnished proof of a parliamentary reply by Khalid which confirmed that YWP, which owns the land, is not a government agency but a company incorporated under the Companies Act.

He said it is a conflict of interest that Khalid is both the FT minister and chairman of YWP and that he retains powers under the Federal Territories Planning Act to overrule the KL mayor on planning issues.

“This gives rise to a clear conflict of interest situation.

“If the chairman of YWP needs something to be done in relation to the land owned by YWP, he talks to the Federal Territories minister — that is, himself — who then directs the mayor to act in accordance with his directions.

“Effectively, we have a situation where the chairman of a private landowner concurrently carries the power to have government decisions made in favour of that same private landowner,” he said.

Khalid had previously maintained it was a normal practice for government agencies to be assigned to handle foundation-related matters.

“YWP should not be run by ‘someone else’ other than the government or DBKL (City Hall) officers,” he had said.

“That is the only way we can control the projects that are placed under the foundation.”

FT Minister Khalid Abdul Samad’s parliamentary reply to Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil confirming that YWP is not a government agency but a company incorporated under the Companies Act.

Hafiz said that since YWP was not a government agency, it was not subjected to auditing by the auditor-general.

“Therefore, it is able, among other things, to receive contributions from outside parties, undertake business and carry out investments to generate income,” he said, citing Khalid’s parliamentary reply.

He said history was now repeating itself as former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had used similar methods during his tenure.

“This serious conflict of interest is why Tengku Adnan was so vocal and aggressive in pushing for the Taman Rimba Kiara development, because the RM3 billion mega project would benefit YWP in the hundreds of millions.

“It also explains why Tengku Adnan allowed the waiver of development order conditions that were imposed by DBKL on the project.

“It likely also explains how 48% of a public park sitting on government land could have been carved out into a land title for mixed development in favour of YWP, without any public consultation or public tender,” he alleged.

Hafiz questioned how Khalid could come up with a fair outcome for the proposed development at Taman Rimba Kiara “if, at the same time, he continues to be chairman of the private landowner that already collected tens of millions in payments from its joint venture developer partner”.

“If the minister is required to make a decision that results in a loss to YWP, would he be willing to do so? Or would his chairmanship of YWP prevent him from doing any harm to this private landowner?”

Save Taman Rimba Kiara (STRK) had previously expressed similar views of a conflict of interest in Khalid and the mayor’s involvement in YWP.

Meanwhile, Taman Tiara Titiwangsa spokesman Sylvester Navaratnam said Khalid needed to decide whether he wanted to head a ministry or focus on “social welfare work”, such as being the head of the YWP, which is a limited company.

“We did company checks before and found that the Kuala Lumput MPs were directors of the YWP board.

“But after 14th general election, we couldn’t do that search any more. It is unclear who is on the board of YWP now,” he said.