KUALA LUMPUR: The decision by the Federal Territories Ministry to nullify the 120-year-old Malay Agricultural Settlement Board (MAS) in Kampung Baru has no basis in law, says honorary secretary Shamsuri Suradi.
He said both the Kampung Baru Development Act 2011 and the Capital City Act 1960, which the ministry had cited as reasons for the decision, provided no grounds for the dissolution of the body.
Shamsuri added that although there were two clauses in the draft development act which concerned MAS' dissolution, these were subsequently removed following the feedback from the landowners at the time.
The development act gave rise to the Kampung Baru Development Corporation (PKB) in 2011.
"The ministry at the time agreed that MAS actually complements the functions of PKB," said Shamsuri, who was speaking at a press conference held at the Dewan Orang Ramai MAS Kampung Paya, Jalan Raja Muda Musa, Kampung Baru on Sunday (June 21).
In a statement dated June 6, PKB said that MAS was no longer relevant, as all administrative functions in Kampung Baru were now governed by the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office (PTGWPKL) as stipulated in subsection 5(1) Constitution (Amendment) (No 2) Act 1973 (Act A206).
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), in a statement dated June 9, said all developments in the enclave needed its approval, as it had been authorised to carry out management functions in the city.
These included building and engineering plans, permits to build and conduct soil works and the issuance of certificates of fitness.
StarMetro had reported, on April 28, that a letter was sent by the ministry, asking for MAS to disband, as ownership of land plots belonging to it were already transferred.
The letter, dated Feb 13, also asked MAS to handover the settlement register over to PTGWPKL, to allow for the land plots to be transferred in accordance with the National Land Code 1965.
Shamsuri, however, said there are still 32 land plots with yet-to-be identified owners, and that MAS, as opposed to PTGWPKL, was better suited to the task.
"The land plots in Kampung Baru are not like any other in the city as they belong to multiple owners.
"The issue of multiple ownership must be resolved and the owners must be identified. MAS is more aware of this issue than PTGWPKL," he said.
Shamsuri said he hoped the ministry would consult MAS before making any decision on its legal status.
MAS was formed under the Land Code Enactment Act 1896 under the Federated Malay States, but its relevance came into question after DBKL was formed with the Federal Territories on Feb 1,1974.