KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — UDA Holdings Bhd (UDA) said today it was committed to upholding the responsibility it has been entrusted with, which is assisting Bumiputera, especially in terms of property ownership and participation within urban areas.
The company said this in response to claims made by Penang Malay Association (Pemenang) president Tan Sri Yussof Latiff that it had diverted from its main responsibility to develop land to benefit the Bumiputera community.
“The company has played its role in developing urban areas since the beginning of its formation until now. This effort is in line with the government’s intent to balance socio-economies in urban areas and further intensify urbanisation.
“Since the establishment of UDA in the northern territories, a total of 18,486 residential units and 1,144 commercial units have been developed where 99 per cent and 93 per cent of them are Bumiputera-owned respectively,” it said in a statement here.
The company also responded to Pemenang’s claims that UDA Holdings had bought land in Tanjung Tokong at a minimal price, which was developed for other purposes that do not benefit the Bumiputera community at all.
It clarified that all of the original residents (also known as former Temporary Occupation Licence holders) were given free residential units as part of their resettlement.
“Almost all of the resettlement residential units in Tanjong Tokong are given for free to original settlers, eligible children of said settlers and eligible tenants.
“Up until 2020, UDA has completed a total of 1,486 resettlement units for the original Tanjong Tokong residents and UDA is still in the process of redeveloping for the remaining 650 families that is expected to complete in four years.
“To ensure their welfare are protected, UDA also has no plans to demolish the resettlement flats which have been built since they are now the rightful property of the residents,” it said.
On claims that UDA Holdings had joint-ventures with non-Bumiputera companies to develop high-rise buildings and mixed-development projects that are mostly bought and owned by non-Bumiputera, the company explained it was one of its initiatives to maintain long-term operational sustainability.
“Since 1996, UDA has not received any financial assistance from the government.
“Therefore joint-venture developments between UDA and other companies is one of the initiatives aimed at assisting UDA in the continuity of business operations.
“While at the same time, UDA has to strike a balance between profit and its responsibility in empowering Bumiputeras,” the company said.
UDA Holdings also highlighted that it has worked together with the State Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) to develop several wakaf lands on the island, namely Wakaf Seetee Aisah (Taman Warisan Impian), Legasi Casarina in Seberang Perai Utara dan Wakaf Mohammad Hashim in Seberang Perai Tengah.
“UDA is also a pioneer in the development of wakaf land in Penang which has become the role model of the first commercial and residential centre of its kind in this country,” it said.