KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — The Federal Territories Ministry and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) have given a company that constructed buildings on two plots of government land at Medan Imbi until the end of the month to vacate the land.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said a notice was issued on Jan 3 to the company, ordering them to vacate the land by Jan 10.
“Since we have passed that date, we decided to allow them time to respond. If they fail to do so the authorities will simply reclaim the land, with assistance from DBKL and the police.
“DBKL’s Integrity Unit has been investigating exactly how the company obtained the development order (DO) and approval to build on those plots. Their report was completed at the end of last month,” he told a press conference.
Khalid said the unit’s report will be submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sometime this week, with DBKL also lodging a report with the commission to investigate the matter.
During the press conference, Khalid explained the chronology of events, which began as early as March 2015.
“Both lots are situated at Medan Imbi, called Lot 568 and Lot 716 respectively. Prior to this both lots were empty spaces with a playground and some durian stalls.
“In March 25, 2015, the company applied to rent 568 to construct a two-storey building for an eight-year period. After the former Federal Territories Minister requested the matter be expedited in December, the DO was issued on June 17, 2016 for a two-storey restaurant,” he said.
However, on September 23, DBKL’s One Stop Centre granted permission to construct a six-storey building, with the DO for the amendment issued on December 15. The building’s architect issued the Certificate of Completion on February 8 last year.
“For Lot 716, the company wrote to DBKL on March 14, 2016, proposing a Durian Kiosk be constructed, which the former minister subsequently expedited in a written minute to DBKL officers the following day.
“On June 10 the planning approval was granted to construct a temporary kiosk, which upon completion would see the company manage it and collect RM16,000 monthly in rent from the tenants,” Khalid said.
Subsequently in March 2017, Bukit Bintang MP Fung Kui Lin and then-Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng urged the development be halted following the playground’s demolition, which was reported in the media.
He said the issues facing the two lots include how permission was granted to the company since the land belonged to neither them nor DBKL.
“To note, Lot 568 is owned by the Federal Land and Mines Department, while Lot 716 is owned by the Federal Territories Land Working Committee, under the Chief Secretary to the Government.
“How was the amendment to the planning approval to turn the structure from two-storeys to six storeys issued? Not to mention the company is occupying land not belonging to them and collecting revenue thereof,” he said.
Since the matter occurred under his predecessor’s tenure, with the DOs and approvals signed by DBKL officers and department heads who have since retired, Khalid said he will leave it to MACC to determine the extent of what happened.
“This is a very serious matter, as both lots measure half an acre and its land value is worth tens of millions of ringgit.
“If the company is serious in resolving this, they can apply to purchase the land at market price, pay for all the premiums and approvals, as well as pay the fines imposed. If not then we will wait until MACC completes its investigations,” he said.