FT minister responds to Taman Rimba Kiara land issue

I refer to the letter by former appeals court judge K Anantham on Taman Rimba Kiara on March 28, 2019, and would like to respond on behalf of Khalid Samad, the federal territories minister.

The learned retired judge must be excused when he expressed his views that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) must invoke Section 340 of the National Land Code to set aside the entire transaction.

I am sure he did it in good faith. Quite unfortunately, the judge was not privy to the facts of this case.

The current position in respect of the said land (PT 9244) is that the parcel of land was already alienated much before to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), which is the duly registered proprietor of the land known as H.S.(D) No. 119599 Lot No. PT 9244, Mukim Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan (“PT 9244”). Hence, Section 340 of the Act cannot and does not apply.

Of course, the learned judge would be right if the situation was otherwise.

Alienation of state land is at the absolute discretion of the state authority and the courts will not interfere, as decided in the Federal Court case of Sidek Bin Haji Muhamad & 461 Ors v. the Government of the State of Perak & Ors.

YWP is a foundation that generates and manages funds in order to be able to contribute and improve the living standards of the underprivileged citizens of the federal territory.

Section 25(6) and (7) of the Federal Territories Planning Act (FTP) 1982 expressly state that if DBKL is to revoke or modify a development order, DBKL will be liable to pay all the expenditure incurred, and shall compensate for any loss suffered.

The minister was clearly right to state that the estimated compensation to MPSB (Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd) may add up to RM150 million, as stated in the writ of summons filed in court, which is inclusive of consequential and other losses, which can only be determined by the court at the end of trial and no one can foresee the final sum.

Therefore, payment of expenditure incurred and compensation for losses is not a myth but is a reality.

MPSB merely entered into a JV Agreement with YWP and clearly there was no transfer of the said land to MPSB.

DBKL is not privy to the negotiations between YWP and MPSB to comment on this issue.

But as it stands, the JV agreement is still subsisting and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has not made any adverse finding.

Sankara Nair is representing Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.