Saturday, July 2, 2022

Land acquisition for Sungai Baru redevelopment must go on, says PKB

The Kampong Bharu Development Corporation says the government must be ready to bear the losses incurred if the land acquisition process is discontinued.

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The land acquisition for the Sungai Baru, Kampung Baru redevelopment project must continue as it has met the legal requirements under the Land Acquisition Act (APT) 1960 although some owners are against it, Kampong Bharu Development Corporation (PKB) says.

PKB said in a statement that if the land acquisition process was discontinued, the government must be prepared to bear all of the losses incurred by the developer and the owners involved.

It said the losses include RM50 million in land acquisition deposit payment to the director-general of lands and mines (JKPTG), RM30 million for the cost of providing transit and rental houses to residents until the replacement houses are completed, relocation costs for residents returning to their original homes, as well as the cost of repairing the homes that had been abandoned for six years.

PKB said based on APT 1960, no percentage of landowner consent is required before any land acquisition is implemented.

“However, in the Kampung Baru redevelopment programme, the ministry has stipulated that redevelopment can only be considered if the developer manages to obtain a threshold value of at least 50% of the property owners’ consent to safeguard the interests and welfare of the residents involved,” it said.

According to PKB, the land acquisition for the Sungai Baru redevelopment project was gazetted under Section 8 of APT 1960 on June 21, 2021, involving 37 terraced lots, 72 flat units and one Tenaga Nasional Bhd electrical substation lot.

“To date, a total of 291 lots (27 terraced lots and 264 flat units) representing 88.72% have agreed to this redevelopment project.

“The developer has also continued to hold engagement sessions with the 37 terraced house lot owners but have failed to get their cooperation,” he said.

Earlier, former federal territories minister Khalid Abd Samad was reported to have set up a committee comprising lawyers to challenge the gazette on the acquisition of the residents’ land in Kampung Sungai Baru, Kampung Baru.

Kampung Sungai Baru Property Owners Association chairman Zulfakar Wahid requested that the second hearing on the land acquisition, which had been postponed since December last year, be continued so that the wait of more than five years to return to the heritage village would end.

Zulfakar said it was unfair to entertain the voice of the minority who only represented 11% while the other 89% who had given their approval were required to wait longer to move into new homes.

“We who have agreed have been living in transit houses (at the Kerinchi Residence) for more than five years. It is unfair for us to wait any longer just because the 37 units do not agree,” he said.

Meanwhile, developer Ritzy Gloss Sdn Bhd director Abdul Hadi Ahmad denied the allegation that the compensation offer was not competitive and the owners were not given the chance to negotiate.

“There is no issue of shortchanging the owners… in fact, through land acquisition, they can only get 5% (compensation value), but the developer was generous enough to offer what they agreed on,” he said, adding that all procedures were in accordance with the law.

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