PAC report: DBKL’s 97 ‘dubious land deals’ attributed to lack of SOP for sale, disposal of assets

Wong explained that the 97 land deals were not done in the best interests of DBKL and the city’s residents. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Wong explained that the 97 land deals were not done in the best interests of DBKL and the city’s residents. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has found that the 97 purported dubious land deals under Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) were the result of a lack of clear standard operating procedures (SOP) for the sale and disposal of land assets since 2011.

These were the findings of the PAC after a nearly year-long investigation into the land deals following numerous public complaints that DBKL assets were being sold off under questionable circumstances.

In a statement today summarising the full PAC report, chairman Wong Kah Woh stated that the land sale and disposal process was only improved in 2015 after DBKL came up with a more detailed SOP.

He further explained that the 97 land deals were not done in the best interests of DBKL and the city’s residents.

“DBKL does not have any SOPs for the sale and disposal of land which it owns. Only after 2015 did DBKL improve its land sale and disposal process by empowering its privatisation committee with a checklist consisting of more detailed procedures for which it received ISO certification (2017).

“The method of resolving the 97 land sale transactions belonging to DBKL sold since 2011 does not refer to any SOP. The process was too loose, prone to abuse of power and did little to protect the interests of DBKL and Kuala Lumpur citizens,” said Wong.

Furthermore, Wong stated that the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 Draft that was approved by the Federal Territories minister differs from what was tabled to the public in 2008 and the gazetted plans have not sought feedback from concerned parties in the city.

Some 200 development orders (DO) issued by DBKL pending the approval of the Federal Territories minister on the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 Draft had brought about several changes, namely a negative environmental effect, as well as changes to commercial zones and population density including plot ratio, said Wong.

Wong also stated that the PAC found conflict of interest within the management of Federal Territories Foundation (YWP), as the Federal Territories minister, as well as the mayor, held the position of chairman and member of the board of trustees in YWP, which had dealings with DBKL on land sales.

Despite being registered under the Companies Act 1965, YWP is not monitored by any authoritative entity, including the National Audit Department, said Wong.

To remediate the situation, the PAC suggested that DBKL put in place a comprehensive SOP for land sales to be conducted in a more transparent manner, which includes outlining the jurisdiction of the mayor and Federal Territories minister.

The Federal Territories Ministry and DBKL would also need to review the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 Draft by taking into consideration the original draft, said Wong

Lastly, YWP’s working structure should also cease to involve the mayor or minister to avoid any conflict of interest and the entity should also be registered as a government statutory body to allow for better monitoring, said Wong.

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