KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Territories Ministry is cooperating fully with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on its probe into dubious land deals, including the one involving Taman Rimba Kiara here, its Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said.
The ministry, he said, provided all information required by MACC or any other parties.
“We are very open about it; they can look through the files, they can make copies of the documents.
“But while that is ongoing, we proceed with the projects that have been agreed upon and signed, and we renegotiate if we think the deal is not fair.
“That is what I did for the 97 land transactions, which led to an additional saving of RM481mil for Kuala Lumpur City Hall,” Khalid said, adding that he adopted a similar approach for Taman Rimba Kiara.
“We must understand that the ministry is not MACC so we do not decide whether some deals are illegal or otherwise.
“The court will be the only one to decide if the agreement or whatever the transaction is legal or illegal,” he told reporters after a visit to Jalan Melayu Bazaar in Jalan Masjid India here where 30 stalls were razed in a fire early yesterday.
The project in Taman Rimba Kiara has been revised to a 17-storey block with 204 units of affordable housing (Rumawip) for the longhouse folk and four blocks of 41 to 45 storey condominiums with 1,082 units in total, down from the proposal in 2016 featuring eight blocks of 42 to 54 storey high-end serviced apartments (2,277 units) and a 29-storey block comprising 350 affordable housing units.
The new proposal will be brought to the Cabinet for a decision.
“If the development order (DO) for the initial proposed project was not issued, I would have negotiated with the developer to save an additional RM60mil to RM70mil,” said Khalid.
“Because I know the residents do not want the project on that scale, I renegotiated the scale and to ensure the project does not encroach into the park area.
“If there is a new DO to be issued for the scaled-down project, it will be done with the developer’s agreement so I do not have to worry about legal action from the developer.”
The project has been in the spotlight lately, with Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, former Bersih chairman Datuk S. Ambiga and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel weighing in.
Yeoh said the issue centred on encroachment into a public park, not on reducing the density.
Ambiga called for a moratorium on the project pending the investigation by MACC while Gabriel highlighted a possible conflict of interests between former FT minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and companies linked to the project.
Meanwhile, in welcoming the reopening of the investigations, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said it was “better late than never”.
“I hope the probe will be concluded soon,” he said when contacted.
While he was the Segambut MP in November 2017, Lim had lodged a report with MACC over the alleged misappropriation of a 4.85ha green lung in the park.
He said the FT Ministry had failed to protect the 10.11ha green lung by transferring half of the land ownership to a third party for development.