DBKL slammed over ‘leaked’ approval to increase plot ratio of Wisma MCA

There are plans to redevelop the MCA headquarters on Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

PETALING JAYA: MCA today expressed disappointment with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) after it was reported that it had granted conditional approval for its application to increase the plot ratio of the party’s headquarters.

“MCA was only informed this morning that DBKL had issued an official consent letter. This comes after The Edge Financial Daily’s report on the matter yesterday,” MCA treasurer-general Lee Chee Leong said.

“There was no official letter by DBKL to inform us, the applicant, that our application has been conditionally approved, as reported in the media.

“MCA deems it unethical and unprofessional that the information had been leaked to a third party. This has caused unnecessary confusion and inconvenience.”

The Edge reported that MCA may have submitted a fresh plan on the redevelopment of its headquarters on Jalan Ampang based on documents that it sighted.

It said the plan, which will see the 23-storey structure brought down and a 29-storey building erected in its place, will include retail space, a hawker centre, museum, auditorium and 13 floors of hotel rooms.

However, Lee said the party’s central committee has no immediate plans to demolish and rebuild Wisma MCA.

“Our priority is to effectively play our role as the opposition to serve as a check and balance to the PH government,” he said.

He said MCA hoped DBKL would maintain its professionalism in handling applications from any organisation and individual and that there would not be any form of discrimination against applicants, regardless of their political standing.

Lee said a planning order was submitted to DBKL as a revitalisation plan and consented to by the party’s previous central committee in 2017.

The letter of planning order is a conditional approval in compliance with the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020.

Lee said it was part of MCA’s plans towards obtaining a development order (DO) from DBKL to secure a commercial plot ratio for future development. This must be obtained prior to the submission of building plans for redevelopment purposes.

On March 3 last year, MCA applied to DBKL to increase the area utilisation rate, or plot ratio, for Wisma MCA, which is currently 1:4.

He said this was done to fully utilise the land area of the site and enhance its commercial land value.

He claimed that last March, before the general election, MCA obtained a plot ratio of 1:24.

However, after the change of government, Lee alleged that DBKL “drastically slashed our plot ratio” to 1:10 despite other adjacent buildings within a 200m radius “far exceeding this plot ratio”.

“Our consultant team has made several appeals to DBKL to get a plot ratio that is close to what our neighbours have,” he said.

“However, the appeals were not entertained,” he said, adding that two applications to increase the ratio to 1:17 and 1:15 were rejected.

Wisma MCA sits on freehold land that was registered in the party’s name in 1983.

FMT has reached out to Kuala Lumpur mayor Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan for comment.