06 September 2011
distortions policy....SPAD denies land grab but says cannot guarantee release of Chinatown lots
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) came out today to deny any “land grab” in its acquisition of Jalan Sultan properties for the MRT project but admitted it could not guarantee that the acquired lots would later be returned to landowners.
SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Kamal said while the acquisition process was being worked out in detail, the government “is in no position to make guarantees of the return of these properties”.
But he reasoned that what was most important was that the government had “listened” to feedback from the affected parties and had agreed to a mutually acceptable outcome.
“This clearly shows that the government is acting in good faith and will continue to do so in resolving this and any future issues related to the MRT,” he said in the three-page letter.
The transport regulator complained that dissenting views expressed over the controversial land acquisition had been based on “inaccurate, incomplete and a lack of understanding” of the facts.
SPAD has been under constant fire from angry traders with businesses located in the historic Chinatown area over its plan to acquire their properties to facilitate the tunnelling portion of the multibillion-ringgit rail project.
Suspicion has also been raised over whether the transport regulator’s purpose of acquiring the prime land lots was to exploit their commercial value to fund the construction of the MRT, said to be Malaysia’s most expensive infrastructure project to date.
Among others, Jalan Sultan traders are also upset that they were not consulted prior to the final alignment of the MRT’s Sungai Buloh-Kajang line and are now also mulling following Bukit Bintang traders in filing for a judicial review on the proposed acquisition.
But Mohd Nur cautioned the public against accepting “misleading views” and urged them to first examine the intentions of those making such allegations, saying it could be designed to confuse and aggravate the situation.
He confirmed that the government was exploring Hong Kong’s “rail plus property” scheme to help minimise spending on public transport infrastructure but stressed that this would only be carried out on government-owned land that is “unused, underutilised or not being utilised optimally”.
“Indeed, there may be instances where private land may be purchased to enhance the development potential but this will be done on a ‘willing buyer-willing seller’ basis.
“Therefore, the accusations that the land that is being compulsorily acquired for the MRT project is tantamount to land grabbing, is baseless,” he said.
For the Jalan Sultan or Chinatown lots, Mohd Nur said that in the interest of time and other factors, the government had decided to select the option of acquiring all the affected properties at the outset before re-releasing them back to their original owners after tunnelling works are completed.
He pointed out that this had been worked out following SPAD’s meeting with the landowners and MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek recently.
Mohd Nur quoted Dr Chua as saying during a press conference after the meeting that the “government will proceed with the acquisition but with the condition that it would strengthen the buildings affected by the construction of the MRT tunnel, for the safety of the buildings’ occupants … But after the tunnel is completed in about six months, they will be allowed to move back in to conduct business as usual.”
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, he added, had also stated that all the parties involved understood that there were many details yet to be worked out in order for this to be achieved such as compensation, timeline and the rights of current tenants occupying the properties.
You take my land for cheap and then sell it for a huge profit. If that is not a land grab, what is that?
SPAD or Prasarana is just TOO adamant TO 'ROB' THE SUPER-HIGH VALUE PROPERTIES of the Chinese USING TAXPAYER'S Umno elites at a pittance price AFTER the tunnelling job !
UMNO WILL MAXIMISE THE LAND GRAB OF THE CHINESE since the MCA had already outlived its usefulness to the Umno BN,,,,and the ironiy of the Land grab is that MCA STILL URGE THE MALAYSIAN CHINESE TO GIVE MAXIMUM SUPPORT FOR THE UMNO BN in the coming GE-13 so that THE UMNO LEADERS CAN SUCK OFF ANY PRECIOUS LANDED PROPERTIES of the Chinese in the Golden Triangle AS UMNO DEEMS FIT ?
THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE TRUE MEANING OF EFFECTIVE MCA REPRESENTATION IN THE UMNO GOVT so that the Umnoputras CAN BASH,MILK OR SUCK the cinaputras forever so long as MCA can help umno to stay IN PUTRAJAYA ?
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