YB Wong Chen
The proposed PKNS Development Issue
15 April: Following my revelation last Friday on the existence of a PKNS agreement with Bayu Melati Sdn Bhd on Sports City, I have been in touch with the ADUN YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the Speaker YB Hannah Yeoh, councillors (present and ex) and leaders of residents of ss7. I was also asked by several reporters on the matter.
Two days ago, I wrote to PKNS to request a copy of the agreement dated 28th January 2011. I will reserve my comments until I have seen the agreement. But rest assured, there will be no cover up and I am determined to get to the bottom of this mess in my constituency. This mess started in 2010, before my time as MP but I will see its finality.
I note that Citizen Nades have written an article on the matter too. See below:
Citizen Nades – Lift the lid on govt land deals Posted on 14 April 2015 – 09:29pm Last updated on 14 April 2015 – 10:52pm
IN JULY 2012, the three-hour session in the hallowed chambers of the State Secretariat listening to the evidence presented was enough to conclude that it was the largest land fraud in the country.
The then Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) member Derek Fernandez took the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) panel through the events in which irresponsible officers of the council changed the local plan to cause substantial increase in the land value.
Using the controversial change in status of the PKNS field in Kelana Jaya as an example, he said as recreational land, it would fetch about RM20 per square foot but as commercial land, it can go as much as RM500 psf – a 25-fold increase.
The “confessions” at the hearing made everyone sit up and wonder how the MBPJ conducts its affairs. Its assistant director in the Town Planning Department Faiwos Abd Hamid charged that she made changes to the local plan on the instructions of her then boss – Noraini Roslan.
Subsequently, instead of being censured, Noraini was promoted to head the Kuala Selangor district council – which has been the norm in a system where anyone and everyone gets rewarded for dereliction of duties.
One would have thought that the re-zoning would be termed illegal and planning permission on development of the land would no longer be an issue.
But no! The then PKNS general manager Othman Omar defended the plan to redevelop the sports complex.
PKNS referred the matter to the Appeals Board and it upheld the decision to keep the land as recreational.
Two months ago, when everyone thought that the development plan was dead, buried and entombed, a resurrection of sorts took place. News broke that the development would take place. Once again, the stakeholders protested.
On Friday, Kelana Jaya MP, Wong Chen dropped a bombshell – PKNS had entered into an agreement with Bayu Melati Sdn Bhd on Jan 28, 2011, on the assumption that the land was zoned commercial.
That’s not all. In a letter to Wong, a copy of which was made available to theSun, PKNS had given an undertaking that it would get the necessary approvals failing which the developer can sue PKNS for “loss of profits”.
On the matter of the PKNS field, I had two meetings with Othman but he never revealed the part of the agreement or if a written agreement existed. All he said was that it was a “joint-venture” project.
To put on record, Othman invited me to speak at the annual integrity conference in 2013 where he said that PKNS had seen a rise in the number of bidders and companies that have shown interest in working together due to the transparency level it implements.
Since the corporation had signed the corporate integrity pledge and integrity pact, he said, it has been an added advantage for PKNS to attract more bidders, both locally and internationally.
With all that verbiage on integrity, questions arise as to who approved the decision to enter into such an agreement. Was it done surreptitiously or was it presented to the PKNS board headed by the then mentri besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim? Did they take legal advice before signing the agreement? Did the board members agree to the terms of the agreement?
It is their turn to explain. How could they ensure that PKNS would get the approvals from the various authorities?
MBPJ is the sole authority in issuing development orders in the city and PKNS is just another state-owned company which does not have any powers of legislating or changing the status of land.
Any change in the land status can only be done by the state executive council and it is mandatory that owners of neighbourhood properties are consulted.
So, it’s going to be another legal wrangle which will involve money belonging to the state. Could it have been avoided? Yes, of course.
Shouting “I have signed the integrity” pledge and issuing media statements do not count. It is the “doing” that actually matters.
That is why there is a need to put into practice what PKNS had preached about integrity.
That is why this column has asked for transparency from the government and its agencies.
And that’s why the “secrecy” or “confidentiality” clause in many agreements they enter into should be removed so that Joe Public will know how the deals affect him.
In the public interest, it will be interesting to ask of PKNS and other government agencies to make public all the agreements that they have signed.
This will also dispel any notion or perception that lop-sided and rotten deals have resulted in someone making a pile.
R. Nadeswaran says misappropriation of land for private benefit appears in many guises and it is for the public to put an end to the menace. Comments: email@example.com
So this morning I got down to do some research work from home on the PKNS Sports Field.
I noted that Bayu Melati Sdn Bhd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Melati Ehsan. Melati Ehsan is a listed company, as such any major agreements must be in Bursa Malaysia. After 2 minutes of search, sure enough, here it is: http://www.bursamalaysia.com/…/listed-companies/comp…/539573
Any lawyers out there who wants to give their opinions and comments on the agreement can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PKNS issue is covered by the Malaysian insider: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/citynews/greater-kl/article/dismantle-agreement-to-develop-pkns-field-says-group
Quick Observation no.1 on the PKNS agreement:
The parties to this JV did a lot of planning before signing. They designed a masterplan detailing how many units of apartments, office, mall, sports complex etc. The look and shape of the development were all sorted out. They even calculated the gross sales and costs of building. This is not a one week hatched project but probably the work of at least 1 year of detailed planning.
Since the JV agreement was signed in January 2011, it means that the plan to develop must have happened in 2010. It is now crucial to get all the PKNS minutes and notes and verify when their first engagement with Melati Ehsan happened.