Thursday, January 28, 2021

Conflict of interest, loose land transactions involving DBKL, says PAC

No SOPs for the disposal or sale of DBKL land, says bi-partisan parliamentary committee.

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today said the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had not followed any SOPs in the sale of 97 pieces of land in the city.

Wong Kah Woh, chairman of the bi-partisan parliamentary committee, said the process was loose, open to abuse, and did not protect the interests of DBKL and the residents of Kuala Lumpur.

PAC also found that DBKL had no SOPs for the disposal or sale of its land, he said.

“Only after 2015 did DBKL improve its process for the sale and disposal of land by empowering the Privatisation Committee through the arrangement of checklists with more detailed procedures and ISO certification (in 2017),” he said in a statement.

The statement was in response to the debate on the PAC report on the transactions of DBKL, which is under the purview of the federal territories ministry.

From April 4 to Nov 12, PAC had called up former federal territories minister Khalid Samad, former attorney-general Tommy Thomas, former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Mohd Shukri Abdull, and former Kuala Lumpur mayor Nor Hisham A Dahlan.

Wong said PAC also found that the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 approved by the ministry was different from the draft plan presented to the public in 2008, and that the draft plan was gazetted before the necessary feedback was obtained.

He said DBKL issued more than 400 development orders while waiting for the green light from the federal territories ministry for the plan, which had a negative effect on the environment, the conversion to commercial zones, and improvements to density including the plot ratio.

He said PAC also found that the management of the Federal Territories Foundation (YWP), which had a land purchase deal with DBKL, was open to conflict of interest as the federal territories minister and Kuala Lumpur mayor were its chairman and board member.

The management of YWP as a company registered under the Companies Act 1965 could not be monitored by any authority including the National Audit Department, he added.

PAC urged the government to ensure that the sale and disposal of land owned by DBKL is done in an open and transparent manner and according to comprehensive SOPs.

It also called for a review of the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 to take into account the changes made from the original draft.

Wong said PAC also recommended that YWP’s role be reviewed in line with its mission of protecting the interests of Kuala Lumpur residents, and that its status be changed to that of a statutory body to enable the government to monitor it more effectively.

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