Friday, April 06, 2012

Kampung Baru Sungai Way field project - challenge MCA to show evidence to prove their accusations

I challenge Barisan National (BN) liaison officer for DUN Kampung Tunku Kelvin Chong to present his evidence that Pakatan Rakyat government and Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) will demolish the only green lung in Sungai Way New Village. Else, I will not respond his unreasonable accusations.

Kelvin Chong held a press conference on 18th and 25th March criticising Pakatan Rakyat State Government for approving the development plan, causing the only green lung at Sungai Way New Village to be developed.

On 19th March 2012, Sin Chew Metro reported that "Kelvin Chong demanded ... explanation to local folks about 'Green lung for Commercial centre' and at the same time demanded the withdrawal of such development plan."

The newspaper also quoted Kelvin Chong that he accused MBPJ for selling said land to a developer in return for RM 75 million.

On the same date, China Press also quoted his remarks: “the above spanning of 4 acres of field, including the reserve land located beside the river, with estimated value of RM 75 million, and had already sold to the developer.”

He also said that “it is the only public field for 35,000 villagers in Sungai Way New Village and also the only green zone in the district converted into commercial development.”

Guang Ming Daily reported that “Kelvin Chong found out that the 4-acre green lung was converted by MBPJ into commercial area for RM 75 million, resulting some 35,000 villagers losing the only green lung.

The newspaper also quoted the director of MCA Selangor Public Complaints Bureau of Theng Bok: “Generally, development order issued by local council lapses after two years. If developer does not start work during this time frame, they need to re-apply. Therefore, after 2009, the developer again received approval by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government to develop such land."

On the same date, Nanyang Siang Pao also reported the same and quoted his remarks: “it is a field catering the needs for 35,000 villagers and is the only green zone in the district converted into commercial development.

During the state assembly opening ceremony on 19th March, I have rebutted the two of them on these accusations on a point-by point basis.

Firstly, Kelvin Chong alleged such project at Sungai Way New Village will cause the only green lung at the said area to disappear, this is an untrue statement. I hereby condemn Kelvin Chong for deliberately deceiving the media and local folks for the sake of cheap politic publicity. If what Kelvin Chong said is true, I challenged him to show evidence within 48 hours to prove that the green lung will disappear!

I also challenged him within 48 hours to show that the developer intend to build residential project at the said area. If Kelvin Chong unable to tender any evidence, then he should immediately apologize and retract his rubbish statement.

Secondly, Kelvin Chong accused MBPJ for selling the said land to a developer at a price of RM 75 million. I want Kelvin Chong to tender evidence to prove that MBPJ had already signed such kind of sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with the developer. Again, if he failed to tender any evidence upon the released of this statement in 48 hours, then he should immediately retract his untrue statement and public apology!

Thirdly, as a lawyer and head for MCA State Public Complaint Bureau, Theng Bok accused that if the green lung was to be upgraded, then the green lung will no longer be a public area. Since he is a lawyer, he should know that statement made must be subject to availability of evidence. Therefore, I challenged him to tender evidence within 48 hours upon the released of my statement.

Fourthly Theng Bok said the green lung will no longer be a public area upon its upgrading work. Does it mean the green lung will still be preserved, but Kelvin Chong on the other hand said the green lung will be disappeared? In the end, who are telling the truth? Why such contradiction among the two of them? Can they provide an explanation to the local folks and readers within 48 hours?

Fifthly, Theng Bok said Pakatan Rakyat government had the right to stop such plan, because when the planning permission was given but no work was done in two years, then reapplication will be necessary. As a lawyer for himself, i am really impressed with his bravery for such ridiculous statement.

First, since the State government had already approved the whole development package in 2007, if PR government changes its mind, does it mean that PR government will lost its creditability? Whose money should the government use to compensate the developer? Secondly, according to Section 24(1) of Town and Country Planning Act 1976, the validity of planning permission is one year, not two years as alleged by Theng Bok. Thirdly, since the lapse of one year validity period, developer has the right to reapply for such planning permission, but this doesn't mean the whole development package will be rejected. It is similar like when the government had issued a land title to a person for development purposes, if the said person only develops the land after 10 years, this does not mean that the government can rightfully take back the land, because the legal ownership of such land is vested upon the land owner.

Actually, all the planning permission needs to be traced back to the development plan by previous government administration during a year in 2007. Therefore, I shall disclose the details of such development plan to enable the media to understand the nature and content of the plan.

The former Barisan National (BN) state government had already approved the policy for squatters eradication by relocating the squatters at Road 4 of Sungai Way New Village. The previous state administration policy is to request the private developer to build low cost flat to relocate the squatters, in return the state government will provide "cross subsidy" to any private developer who can assist the state government to achieve such aim.

During the implementation of such policy, the state government at that time had provided a series of cross subsidy to those private developer who had successfully relocate 1400 unit of residents from Kampung Baiduri and 550 unit of residents from Sungai Way. The developer had promised to build nearly 2000 unit of low cost flat to accommodate all this residents.

Hence, in order to solve the traffic congestion problem at Sungai Way New Village, the state government at that time requested the City Council to survey the number of illegal hawkers at Sungai Way New Village and requested the private developer to relocate nearly 150 illegal hawkers. Therefore, the state government at that time had reserved the green lung and land located adjacent to the riverside to be a well planned development area. The state government also hopes to solve the traffic congestion problem at Sungai Way New Village.

Nonetheless, the state government did not approved such land to the private developer, but to MBPJ instead and requested the MBPJ and private developer to jointly develop the said plan (Such form of cooperation is a typically used by the former state government. Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor Chief Minister had repeatedly criticized such form of joint-venture as detriment to the state government interest during state assembly). Therefore, Kelvin Chong accused the MBPJ for selling the land to private developer at a price of RM 75 million is actually incorrect. Where is the statistic for RM 75 million actually come from?

During the development plan approved in year 2007, the working paper clarified that the private developer and MBPJ will redevelop the green lung and the river reserve land adjacent to the riverside. The private developer will build a type of commercial center for MBPJ, raise the ground level of green lung, provide extra 300 parking spaces, upgrade the green lung facilities (playground, jogging track, basketball court) etc). Private developer will hence obtain a special concessionary of 20 years. It was said that the private developer will need to bear the cost of maintenance for 20 years (Include playground and other facilities).

20 years later, the private developer will need to hand over the properties back to MBPJ. According to the development plan in year 2007, the property’s value is estimated at RM 12.50 million (ie, RM 7.5 million worth of properties value and 20 year of maintenance fees worth RM 50 million). This type of BOT cooperation method, called Built-Operate-Transfer, is also the typical method used by the federal government for privatization purposes. The highway/expressway toll also used this kind of method for privatization.

Then, where did RM 75 million came from? Only Kelvin Chong knows it.

While in the press conference, Kelvin Chong and Theng Bok, they keeps on saying they have gone through a series of investigation and possessed substantial evidence, and also challenged me to debate with them. In regard to this matter, I am willing to debate with MCA, however there must be precondition to be set straight, that both side needs to tender evidence to prove their accusation. Otherwise the debate will be deformed into plain political talks.

Therefore, I challenge them for reply my questions and come up with hard evidence to give an explanation. If they cannot provide any evidence within the time limit, this proves that they are just fabricating news to earn cheap political propaganda. I urge them to withdraw their remarks to the readers and get the villagers apology.

Until and unless they present their evidence I would not entertain or answer any further accusation or press conference called by them in relation to this matter. 
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