malaysia

Felda confirms regaining ownership of Jalan Semarak land

Felda Chairman, Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad showing the document of  recovered land to the media during a press conference at the Felda Tower, January 15, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan ZaidonFelda Chairman, Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad showing the document of recovered land to the media during a press conference at the Felda Tower, January 15, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan ZaidonKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has confirmed it has regained possession of the land along Jalan Semarak.

This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Felda and development company Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd (SPSB).

SPSB is the entity in charge of the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC) project which is being constructed along Jalan Semarak. The land was transferred to them sometime in 2014.

Although all 16 land titles have been secured, Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said they will not withdraw the police report made on December 12 and 28 last year.

“In tandem with the police investigation, a forensic audit is also underway to determine if there was any wrongdoing involved in the transfer,” he said, adding they expect the audit to be completed within the next 30 days.

Shahrir said although the issue of the land transfers became public knowledge last month, he also said Felda took steps to resolve the issue as early as January last year.

“On April 14 we managed to register a personal caveat for the 16 land lots which were transferred. Following our December 12 police report we made a registrar’s caveat on 15 of the transferred lots, on December 26.

“The registrar’s caveat on the remaining lot was made after the December 28 police report,” he said.

This eventually led to SPSB voluntarily returning the ownership of the 16 lots free of charge, as well as handing over the land titles to be registered once more under Felda.

Shahrir said they were currently awaiting for both the police investigations and forensic audit to be completed before considering further action.

He confirmed however that KLVC would continue to be developed by SPSB.

“We will soon hold discussions with SPSB to negotiate how best to implement the development agreement and augment the project, for everyone’s benefit.

“I think the main concern for us is to amend the power of attorney given to the developer, into a more limited form that is revocable, and must require written authorisation from Felda if the land is to be sold,” Shahrir said.

Under the terms of the current agreement, Felda is to get either RM500 million or 10 per cent of the project’s gross development value, whichever is higher.

The issue began when Malay daily Berita Harian quoted an anonymous source on December 21 last year, which stated Felda could lose up to RM200 million from the development project, following what it described as “a dubious change of ownership” in 2014.

This was later followed by further actions, including instructions from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for thorough probe into the matter.

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