SkyWorld says land purchase from DBKL above board

DEVELOPER SkyWorld Development Group, one of the private companies involved in the purchase of 64 plots of lands from DBKL in deals dating back to 2013 that is now being investigated by the MACC, says everything is above board in its dealings with City Hall.

The MACC probe, initiated following a complaint filed by several Kuala Lumpur MPs on May 16, is said to cover deals totaling 170ha of land.

According to SkyWorld's founder and group managing director Datuk Ng Thien Phing, the company was first approached in 2013 to collaborate with the government to fulfill its aim of building 80,000 affordable homes.

He commented that the terms offered for the land purchased were conditional upon 50% of the development undertaken being reserved for affordable housing. 

SkyWorld was offered five pieces of lands by DBKL totaling about 6.1ha (15.05 acres) or approximately 3.5% of the 64 plots of land listed. 

Ng stressed that all the lands were purchased through proper valuation as done by the government valuation department, and that all land prices, premiums and charges related to the lands were paid accordingly.

"The company is building more than (what's) required with a total of 1,934 units affordable homes on 3.46ha land (8.55 acres) or 57% of the land offered, of which 1,226 units under SkyAwani 1 will be handed over this June, and 708 units under SkyAwani 2 is targeted for early handover sometime in the second half of 2019," he pointed out.

Ng said the property market in 2013 was at its peak, and as such most developers did not want to embark on developing affordable housing, a segment not considered to be a viable business proposition. 

However, SkyWorld saw affordable housing as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and so was willing to undertake the responsibility, he added.

He said SkyWorld representatives have engaged with Kepong MP, YB Lim Lip Eng’s office and it had been made known that the allegations by Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng was not against the property development sector or any property developer in particular. 

In fact, the MPs said they fully back entrepreneurs who support the government’s initiative in building affordable homes for the rakyat.

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