Khalid Samad says he supported housing project proposal and not the company

KLANG: It was the vision of the previous Federal Territories Ministry under the then Pakatan Harapan government to build one million affordable homes within a window period of five years, says Khalid Samad.

The former Federal Territories minister said when a company submitted a proposal that revolved around his ministry’s vision, he immediately supported the project.

“I did not support the company and I did not even know at that time who owned the company.

“But I supported the project,” said Khalid when contacted.

The Shah Alam MP was clarifying allegations against him in an article published by an online portal that he had supported a property development company’s bid to acquire a piece of government land.

Without naming anyone, the article also claimed that the property developer Saujana Beringin Sdn Bhd had connections with the brother of a former prime minister.

Khalid said as far as he knew, Saujana Beringin was the only company which had submitted such a proposal.

“If some other companies had also submitted similar proposals, we would have been able to choose but this was the only company which brought us such a proposal,’’ he added.

He said the company’s application for the land was first approved in 2017 by the Federal Territories Lands and Mines Office but was then rejected in 2018 because the Kuala Lumpur City Hall wanted to use the land as a nursery.

In late 2018, the company put forward the proposal explaining that it was in line with what the ministry wanted to achieve, he said.

“So in 2019, we felt that the nursery can be done elsewhere and that affordable homes were a bigger priority as many in Kuala Lumpur were still not able to own homes,’’ he added.

Some 54 % of the houses built by the company in the project would be affordable homes, said Khalid.

Khalid said although he had asked the Federal Territories land exco, chaired by the chief secretary to the government, to approve the land for the company, he did not have the authority to compel the body to do so.

“The chief secretary to the government is not answerable to me. The final decision is his,’’ said Khalid.

He added the company would not have gotten the land for free and would have to pay for it.

“But they will get a special price as we will be the ones setting the conditions and controlling the project,’’ added Khalid.
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Khalid Samad , affordable homes , Pakatan


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