FEDERAL Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin has urged land owners to give up the 2,044sq metre open space in Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, and accept an alternative piece of government land in return.
“I want to offer a good alternative solution to them. That is why I have asked the residents association to put pressure on the land owners to agree to our proposal,” he said adding that the owners have refused to accept the offer by the government.
“We have given an alternative which is as good as the land they have but the owners have refused. So now the only way is compulsory acquisition. That will involve a lot of taxpayers’ money,” he added.
Nong Chik also lashed out at Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar who said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) should hold an inquiry into the Bangsar open space land issue.
“Why should there be an inquiry now. Maybe she should ask her father as that land was given in 1997 when her father (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) was deputy prime minister,” he said during a walkabout to inspect the upgrading work done in Jalan Maarof.
Also present at the walkabout was Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail and RA representatives from Taman Bangsar, Lucky Garden, Bangsar Baru and Bukit Bandaraya.
It was reported in an English daily that Nurul Izzah said the DBKL should hold an inquiry into the Bangsar open space land fiasco.
Nong Chik said he had urged Bangsar residents to put pressure on the land owners to accept another piece of land offered by the government.
She had earlier said an inquiry into the manner in which Melor Travels acquired the land in Jalan Maarof was crucial to ensure a similar incident did not recur.
Shee added that she would arrange for their request to be extended to Ahmad Fuad as residents expressed their wish for an investigation.
It was also reported in an English daily that the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office was valuing the land with a view of acquiring it to solve the problem with Melor Travels and asked the company to accept another piece of land in Jalan Klang Lama.
Nong Chik had earlier said, however, the ministry was still considering whether to acquire the land as it could be costly.
Bangsar Baru developer Eng Lian Enterprise surrendered the land to DBKL in 1977 be used as open space.
According to the report, Melor Travels paid a RM2mil premium in 1997 and managed to obtain a 99-year lease from the land office that was estimated to be worth RM17mil in 2008.