Business

TH reconsideration of TRX sale lauded

Azeez Tambi

Nikita Nawawi
Written by Nikita Nawawi

KUALA LUMPUR – June 22, 2015: The decision by Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) to reconsider selling its land parcel at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) financial district has been welcomed by those who opposed the sale.

Prominent blogger Zakhir Mohammed, better known as Big Dog said it was good for TH to consider the opinion of the public before making the decision.

“It is good that TH is reconsidering its options. They can never go wrong with property investment in such a premium project. It is like investing in the Trump Tower or any other Central Park addresses.

“The plan to develop a block of residential apartments is good for TH’s business given the fact that it would be the only residence in the district.

“Furthermore, the residence venture is the easiest to comply with sharia and considering Malaysian luxury will be moving up in a few years, this will lead to more demands from the buyers,” he said.

Zakhir added that the rental TH has paid would be earned back in 10 years and afterwards, generate perpetual income for TH and its depositors.

He also dispelled worries that TH’s reconsideration on the matter may spark another public uproar among the depositors similar to the one when the land was bought from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) last month.

Zakhir was of the opinion that such public unhappiness was just an over-reaction due to instigation by ‘certain individuals’.

“They had purposely manipulated the purchase and designed it into an issue to tick off public’s emotion.

“They are believed to be part of the faction that is conspiring to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the 1MDB adviser.

Responding to the possibility that the reconsideration might upset Najib as he was the one advising TH to let go of its acquisition in the TRX, Zakhir opined otherwise.

“He (Najib) had advised TH to sell the plot due to the pressure by various quarters at that moment. He needed to simmer down the situation after a blog leaked the transaction.

Captain (rtd) Abdul Rahmat Omar of the SeaDemon blog told The Mole that TH is doing the right thing by re-evaluating its decision to sell the land parcel.

“I agree with TH’s reconsideration as the properties in TRX are highly valued. It only makes sense that Muslims should get a hold a part of the place.

“I also do not think that it would cause another ruckus now that TH’s depositors have realised the deal was done at a good bargain.

“Previously, the netizens were the reason it became amplified due to TRX’s association with 1MDB. I have seen many people changing their minds,” he said, adding that Najib should not be upset over the reconsideration.

He opined that Najib had advised TH to sell the land parcel in the first place to avoid misunderstanding among the depositors that their money was being misused.

“However, Najib should not have jumped the gun too soon without referring to the board of TH as well,” said Rahmat.

Rahmat had also conducted a poll on his blog where 92.48 per cent of the respondents want TH to keep the land parcel.

The poll that was initiated from May 28 to June 15 received an overwhelming response with 3,191 vote counts, which was believed to be three times more than opinion research firm Merdeka Centre’s normal sample.

On Thursday, The Mole had reported that TH is reconsidering the decision to sell its TRX 1.5 acre land parcel after taking into account feedback from the public.

TH chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the fund’s management is currently in the midst of discussion with its subsidiary TH Properties to figure out the best option for its contributors.

“The management will conduct a research to determine the pros and cons on the options of selling and keeping the land parcel.

“They will then suggest the best option to the board members based on the profit projection if we decide to sell and if we are to keep it,” he said.

Azeez added while the management is undertaking the study, TH’s negotiations with potential buyers will proceed.

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About the author

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi is an up-and-coming writer who started his involvement in the media industry serving established local English daily, before joining The Mole in October 2014 as journalist.