KOTA BELUD: Lembaga Tabung Haji had to withdraw from a good deal over the purchase of land at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) because of the negative perception on the ground, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic).
The Prime Minister said the people were of the perception that Tabung Haji depositors’ money was being used to rescue 1Malaysia Development Berhad that owned the land.
“It was a very good commercial deal but unfortunately for Tabung Haji, the purchase has been twisted and people have the wrong impression,” he said.
“It has become so controversial for the wrong reasons.
“That is why it has been decided that we might as well not continue with the controversy.
“It will take away our energy when we should concentrate on other projects that we have in mind,” he said after launching the People’s Housing Project in Kampung Pirasan here yesterday.
The Prime Minister said the fact that there were several offers to buy the land showed that the purchase was not a bailout.
“Tabung Haji has received offers for the land at a higher rate. By flipping to a private company, the board is going to make a few million overnight.
“So, it cannot be a bailout because no private company will buy over a project if it is a bailout,” he said.
Asked if the decision to sell the land would shrink bumiputra’s hold on prime assets in Kuala Lumpur, Najib said that other bumiputra companies could also consider purchasing the land there as it would be a good commercial proposition.
The pilgrims fund, following the advice of the Prime Minister, decided to sell the 0.64ha of land it had bought from 1MDB.