Why the low value for Kg Baru land, asks Najib

Kampung Baru is one of the oldest Malay settlements in the city and the government intends to redevelop the area.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has questioned the government’s valuation of RM850 per square foot for Kampung Baru that sits near the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

Kampung Baru, covering 89ha in the Golden Trangle, was located in an area where the land is valued at RM3,000 per square foot, said Najib.

But the Pakatan Harapan government says, based on the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), the highest offer is RM850 per square foot, Najib wrote in his Facebook page.

“It is not abnormal at times for JPPH to carry out valuation which is well below the market price,” he said.

Najib was commenting on a town hall session today where Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said the government’s offer to buy land in Kampung Baru at RM850 per square foot for redevelopment was the highest so far and based on a valuation by JPPH.

Khalid said the government may consider offering a higher price.

However, he said, this will be discussed in detail with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the outcome will be known in a month’s time.

“Generally, all owners and benefactors have agreed with the re-development plans.

“The stumbling block is the assessment price of RM850 per square foot by the JPPH. So, how much more can we offer?

“The approach by the government is always tied to the valuation done by the JPPH. They can give more or less, but we have to wait and see,” he said at a press conference after the town hall session with more than 3,000 Kampung Baru landowners and benefactors here today.

Attempts by past administrations to redevelop the land into residential and commercial plots were rejected by locals, said to be due to fear that minorities will soon swamp what is deemed to be the last Malay settlement in a Chinese-dominated city.

Mahathir, in a five-minute video presentation today, told the owners and heirs of Kampung Baru that allegations that the development will push the Malays out of the federal capital are completely baseless.