DBKL denies ‘leaking’ approval letter to increase MCA HQ plot ratio

Wisma MCA on Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) today denied “leaking” a letter of conditional approval for MCA’s application to increase the plot ratio of the party’s headquarters in the city centre.

DBKL corporate communications department director Norhaslinda Nordin rubbished MCA treasurer-general Lee Chee Leong’s allegation that DBKL officers leaked the notice to reporters with The Edge.

Norhaslinda noted that an Edge report on the matter did not say where it got its information from, only that it had “sighted documents”.

“DBKL seeks the cooperation of all parties to get verified information from DBKL and not spread information that is not true,” she told FMT.

On Monday, The Edge reported that MCA may have submitted a fresh plan on the redevelopment of its headquarters on Jalan Ampang.

It said the plan, which would 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.

Lee said the next day that they had not received any official letter from the city council informing them their application had been approved before the report was published and said MCA was disappointed with DBKL.

“MCA deems it unethical and unprofessional of DBKL officers to have leaked out the information to a third party without our prior knowledge. This has caused unnecessary confusion and inconvenience,” he said in a statement.

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, to fully utilise the land area of the site and enhance its commercial land value.

Lee 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, adding that two subsequent appeals to increase the plot ratio were rejected.

Norhaslinda said Kuala Lumpur mayor Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan issued a conditional approval on July 11 to redevelop Wisma MCA after an application was made. She did not state the plot ratio approved.

On July 18, DBKL contacted the architects of the project to inform them about collecting the conditional approval letter but failed to reach them, she said.

“Nevertheless, the project architect took the letter on Aug 20,” she said.

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