KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 2019 :Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok has expressed unhappiness over a comment by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak regarding the sale of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) land in Sungai Buloh.
In a statement today, she urged Najib to respond to “all the direct and pointed questions” on the matter as it involved public money at MRB and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
She said Najib was being evasive and ‘beating around the bush’ when criticising the government’s revelation of the sale transaction, which was directed by the Cabinet under him.
“It is simple in the eyes of the public, he refuses to provide the answers but instead deflects the issue,” she added.
Kok, in a press conference on Jan 3, claimed the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government had forced MRB to sell 2,800 acres of land at Sg Buloh, below the market price of only RM1.5 billion, in October 2010, to Aset Tanah Nasional Bhd (ATNB) in a direct sale.
She also revealed ATNB had, in 2012, sold the 2,800 acres to Kwasa Land for RM2.28 billion, without holding any open tenders.
In a Facebook post, Najib said the sale involved two government agencies.
He calculated the sale price which worked out to be RM18.70 per square foot which he said was a reasonable market price paid by Kwasa Land, at that time.
“Kwasa Land is a company fully-owned by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and had already started to develop the land as a new city centre that included houses for about 150,000 people with an estimated gross development value of at least RM50 billion,” he said.
“This means Kok has accused BN of forcing the government to sell government land to the government, and subsequently giving an opportunity to EPF to raise billions in profit for its depositors,” Najib reasoned.
Najib pointed out that said Kwasa Damansara, a new development area which included an MRT station is part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development Project as announced under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
“How despicable of the old BN government to take care of their cronies, the EPF contributors.
“How cruel is the old BN government to carry out development projects as announced under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” Najib wrote in a sarcastic tone.
“Of course, many now know the new town is named Kwasa Damansara. There is also MRT station there right now.”
The development of Kwasa Damansara in the Subang area is among the steps in the Strategic Planning for Regional Development (Greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development Project) as envisioned in the 10th Malaysia Plan.
“Does Teresa Kok have nothing else better to do? Shouldn’t she be taking better care of smallholders’ welfare, by embarking on effective measures to support the price of palm oil? Shouldn’t she be setting-up a palm oil ambassador club?” he asked.
“I think it’s better for Teresa Kok to just focus her attention on telling smallholders to use rainguard devices, fixed on the bark of rubber trees, to lessen their losses due to interference of rainwater when harvesting latex,” Najib wrote.