KUALA LUMPUR — July 16, 2019: A former KL mayor spoke today about the outright sales of land belonging to the city hall (DBKL) when Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was a minister as oppose to joint ventures with property developers.
According to Tan Sri Ahmad Phesal Talib,many requests to buy land outright were received after the minister known widely as Ku Nan assumed the portfolion in 2013.
“In the past, the concept of development on DBKL land was on a joint venture,” said Phesal when questioned by prosecutor Julia Ibrahim.
Phesal, now deputy chairman of the Education Commission, said that in order to meet the target of the Federal Territory Ministry to build 80,000 units of affordable homes in KL, Ku Nan directed DBKL to identify potential sites but the concept of outright sale of land was new then so there was no standard operating procedures to follow.
Nevertheless, DBKL implemented the concept based on policies and regulations set by the federal government.
“DBKL obtained quicker returns from the outright sales as it did not have direct responsibility and obligations on the land after full payment by the developer and completion of the land transfer.
“In addition, DBKL could rest assured that the companies were credible and capable of completing projects on time,” said Phesal who was mayor for three years from July 18, 2012.
To a question by Ku Nan’s lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan on whether the KL affordable homes project (Rumawip) was successful, Phesal replied thus: “I think the project was important and successful because it was the government’s policy at the time to sell affordable housing to people earning below RM3,000”.
The witness also agreed with the counsel’s suggestion that Ku Nan was a minister who cared for needy city dwellers, hence the affordable homes for low-income residents.
Ku Nan is charged with corruptly accepting RM2 million from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong. — Bernama