Lawyer pans govt valuation for Kampung Baru land

PETALING JAYA: An expert in local council and town planning laws has urged the federal territories ministry and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to draw up a special area action plan for Kampung Baru to ensure that landowners get a fair price for their land.

Speaking to FMT, lawyer Derek Fernandez said the RM850 per sq ft which Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad had offered the landowners was unfair as they did not know the details of the type of developments, plot ratios or population densities which would be allowed for the area.

He said this was because DBKL only had a draft plan which had yet to go through public process and could be amended, which would affect plot ratios and densities.

“Khalid said the Valuation and Property Services Department values the land at around RM650 per sq ft to RM850 sq ft.

“Copies of the actual valuation report and terms of references for the valuations must be given to the landowners,” he said, adding that these were critical.

He said it would be impossible for landowners to ascertain the true value of the land without knowing what the authorities would allow to be developed there.

“For example, if you own a half-acre plot of land and you are only allowed to build a two-storey bungalow on it, the land is much less valuable than a half-acre on which you can build a 20-storey residential building.

“If you are allowed to build a 50-storey commercial building, the difference would be even greater,” he added.

He said it was crucial that a clear plan be passed after a public hearing process, including details on the permitted amount of buildable and saleable floor area.

“It would be wrong to pay a landowner a valuation based on a two-storey bungalow land when a 50-storey building may end up being built on that land.”

He added that it would be unfair to the landowner to do a valuation based on a draft which might be changed at a later time.

Derek Fernandez.

He said this explains the difference in valuations of land surrounding Kampung Baru, which some reports have put at RM3,000 per sq ft for the land at KLCC.

If the valuations are based on the average plot ratio of 1:10, according to the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 or the draft special area plan, he said, Khalid’s valuation was “far too low”.

Fernandez said the value of a piece of land slated for redevelopment should be between 15% and 20% of the gross development value, reportedly around RM50 to RM60 billion.

“The federal territories ministry and DBKL need to draw up a special area action plan and allow all Kampung Baru landowners to participate and be heard as to what they envision for its redevelopment,” he said.

He added that landowners should be allowed to submit independent valuations.

If, on the other hand, the government wishes to use the Kuala Lumpur City Plan as basis, where mixed developments with an average plot ratio of 1:10 are allowed, the valuation would be significantly higher than RM850, he said.

He said this was important since Kampung Baru has significant heritage value as well as cultural and social ties for the Malays.

Khalid has been under some pressure over the RM850 per sq ft valuation, but says the government is prepared to study the requests of landowners who are seeking a minimum price of RM1,000 per sq ft.

There are some 5,374 landowners for the 846 plots of land in Kampung Baru.