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Friday January 1, 2010

Govt to terminate deal,decision made after negotiations with Plaza Rakyat developer fail

The government has decided to terminate the deal with the current developer of Plaza Rakyat following failed negotiations and an overshot deadline to revive the project in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, which has become an eyesore.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said while the decison had been made, the legal process would take between three and six months after the termination letter had been sent out.

“The developer may have certain rights it wishes to claim, and so the whole process takes time.

“Only after the legal aspects are cleared can we call for a new tender for the project,” he said.

Ready for school: Disabled pupil Nasrullah Norsaifullizan, seven, (front row, centre) and other ‘Jom Balik Sekolah 2010’ programme recipients looking at new school shoes.

Plaza Rakyat is a privatisation project and the new developer, he said, was duty-bound to take over not just the assets but also the liabilities.

The minister had earlier launched the “Back-to-School” aid presentation ceremony for the new school year to primary and secondary school children at the Bangsar Sports Complex in Jalan Terasek 3, Bangsar Baru.

On whether purchasers would get a reprieve soon, Nong Chik said the original contract was signed between the developer and buyers and, therefore, it was up to the new developer to inform them when the project could be completed.

The project, launched in the mid-90s, has been left uncompleted and stands out like a sore thumb in the city.

It was reported that earlier, the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) was to call for a final meeting with the developer to iron out issues that needed to be resolved by November, failing which new bids were to be called, as suggested by the Prime Minister.

On another issue, concerning low-cost flats built by private developers, he said these buildings were sometimes not well maintained and ended up becoming slums.

“Some of these flats have not been painted for 20 years and some facilities, not repaired. I’m thinking of starting a special fund that would pool the resources of both the private sector and residents themselves as the government is unable to help every one.

“This, though, is just my thought for now as I’ve yet to raise it for approval at the Cabinet level,” he said.

The back-to-school aid programme was organised by the Lembah Pantai Umno division with Telekom Malaysia as the main sponsor.

According to the division’s education bureau president, Shaari Jantan, 431 youngsters — 288 primary school pupils and 143 secondary students — benefited from the programme

He said the names were obtained from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and schools which were asked to identify poor students.

“Each student received RM50, school bag and shoes,” Shaari said, adding that part of the cash was sponsored by the Federal Territory Foundation (Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan).

Nong Chik said the Lembah Pantai Umno division, which he heads, would also be jointly organising a summer camp next year with Telekom Malaysia, and hoped that such programmes would help produce more excellent students in Lembah Pantai.


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