KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — The purported practice by Barisan Nasional of giving out government land to the royalty is allegedly happening in Johor under the new Pakatan Harapan administration, former veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin claimed today.
Writing in his personal blog, Kadir claimed that the Johor state government was alleged to be awarding land to the royalty, but welcomed anyone to disprove such allegations.
“All quarters can deny if untrue. I will publish their denials in full as this blog practises the right of reply,” the prime minister’s communication and media advisor wrote in his blog today.
Kadir did not provide further details or proof of the allegation, but urged the newly-minted Johor Mentri Besar Sahruddin Jamal who was sworn in on April 14 to look into the matter.
“I hope this allegation will be investigated by the new Mentri Besar, Sahruddin Jamal, as he will certainly not want to repeat old mistakes and suffer the same fate as his predecessor,” he said, adding that Sahruddin should be given some time as he was newly-appointed.
Both Kadir and Sahruddin are from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one of the component parties in the ruling PH coalition.
Kadir also went on to speak of two other alleged cases of land issues involving the royalty.
He cited a case where a company ultimately controlled by Taiwanese interests had allegedly sought to acquire land in Melaka belonging to Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) subsidiary Sime Darby Plantations at a low price.
Noting that SDP has already filed a lawsuit to challenge the compulsory acquisition of the Melaka land, Kadir pointed to written evidence that alleged of the purported role of the Kelantan Sultan in the land matter.
“The Melaka government is now led by PH and the Chief Minister Adly Zahari has already been informed of Putrajaya’s sentiment regarding that matter,” he said.
Kadir also claimed that an unnamed ruler had to pay only around RM10 million for around six acres of land belonging to the federal government in Kuala Lumpur.
In explaining this matter, he said the ruler had initially asked for 14,000 square metre of land in Kuala Lumpur that was worth nearly RM30 million in exchange for a discounted price of less than RM6 million.
He said the same ruler had then added on the request for nearly 10,000 square metres more of land worth around RM45 million with a 90 per cent discount to a RM4.5 million premium.
It is unclear which matter Kadir was referring to, as he did not provide further details in his blog posting.
Kadir claimed that the award and selling of land at below market prices were widespread during former BN chairman and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration, including land belonging to the military.
Describing such alleged practices as a “bad legacy left behind by Najib”, Kadir said action should be taken on these purported practices as part of the PH government’s efforts in institutional reforms and preventing corruption.
“In a situation where the country is increasingly running short of land and many Malaysians are unable to afford owning their own house due to the increase in property value, land belonging to the government should not be gifted or sold at cheap prices to anyone at all,” he said.
Kadir’s blog posting comes just days after PH marked its first anniversary as federal government.
In the May 9 elections, PH’s electoral victory saw BN losing many states for the first time in history, including Melaka and Johor.