Reports by RAHIMY RAHIM, R.SEKARAN, ALEX TENG and MEI MEI CHU
PETALING JAYA: Selangor’s Barisan Nasional assemblymen are set to quiz Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali over the Ijok land issue when the state legislative assembly convenes soon.
State Umno information chief Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz said Azmin will be questioned on why he had overturned the efforts initiated by former mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
“Khalid had settled the matter and tabled it in the Selangor Legislative Assembly. The decision to seize the land was a unanimous exco decision under Khalid’s leadership.
“Why did Azmin revoke the decision?” Johan asked.
Barisan Permatang assemblyman Datuk Sulaiman Razak claimed that Azmin’s decision deprived Selangor of an opportunity to make money.
“The state should have developed the land or sold it to a third-party developer.
“This way, the state would have benefited financially.
“Azmin must be the one explaining this. Not (strategic communications director in the Mentri Besar’s office) Yin Shao Loong or anyone else,” he said.
Sulaiman said the biggest question for Azmin was why he had chosen to settle the matter out of court when the state could have won the case at the Federal Court level.
The land in Ijok was given to the settlers more than 20 years ago through a state programme to upgrade their standard of living.
Two companies – LBCN Development Sdn Bhd and Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd – came in to develop the land for the settlers in 1998 but could not keep to their end of the bargain of building each settler a house and paying RM180,000 each.
In 2009, Khalid, who was the mentri besar, seized the land from the developers and both companies dragged the state to court only to lose the case.
The developers appealed to the Federal Court. But in 2016 Azmin filed a settlement agreement and returned the seized parcel of land to the developers. The land was then sold to a third-party company for RM1.18bil.
The 981 settlers were then paid the RM180,000 and given a house worth about RM400,000 each by the third-party developer.
Meanwhile, Kapar Umno division chief Datuk Faisal Abdullah said it was unfair that the settlers were paid the same amount of compensation that was agreed upon 18 years ago.
“The value of the land has increased but the settlers are getting the old deal.
“If the state government had dealt directly with the third-party developer, they would have received all of the RM1.18bil and the settlers would have been paid current market prices,” he said.
Faisal said it was ridiculous that the two companies were allowed to sell the land and make huge profits even though they failed to deliver on what was agreed 18 years ago.