Ijok land scandal: Did the Selangor Govt lose RM4.2 billion with the “side-deal” settlement?

Dato’ Eric See-To

Here is something that does not make any commercial sense.

According both the communications director in the MB office as well as PKR MP Sivarasa, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s approach could have led to a potential liability of RM1.4 billion to the state government to recover back a total of 3,200 acres worth of land in Ijok. This is assuming that the Selangor Govt loses ALL the court cases involved in the deal – despite the state govt already having won twice in the high court and the appeals court.

“Even if Khalid’s acquisition strategy was finally successful for all 3,200 acres, the state would still face huge claims for compensation which could go up to about RM1.4 billion.” said the MB office and Sivarasa.

Their statements can be found here: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/413305 and here: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/413305

So the absolute worst case scenario means the Selangor Govt has to pay RM1.4 billion cost for 3,200 acres of land.

Now, remember that this scenario is that the Selangor govt loses or decides to settle and pay damages for each and every one of the so-called 30 cases.

But the listed property company already paid RM1.18 billion for 2,200 acres – leaving another 1,000 acres at just a cost of RM320mil.

Also according to Sivarasa, the land is already zoned as industrial and commercial – meaning the price would be certainly much higher than the RM12.34 psf price that the listed company had paid for the 2,200 acres.

Prices for comparable land of a similar status for such zoned land there is now RM35 to RM65psf. So, another question is why didn’t the Selangor Govt tender out the 2,200 acres of land for sale instead to get a much better price.

So, why didn’t the Selangor government use open tender to sell the land? As DAP has frequently alleged, when you don’t use open tender it means there is possible corruption.

Assuming that the Selangor Govt just gets RM40psf for the 3,200 acres, the total price would be RM5.57 billion.

Paying out RM1.4 billion to get RM5.57 billion seems to be the saner thing to do which will result in a profit of RM4.2 billion for the state govt that has now disappeared.

This is even before taking into account that the state could have gone into joint-development or sell developments rights instead of selling the land outright to make even more profits from a RM15 billion to RM20 billion Gross Development Value (GDV) property project.

Remember that the listed company has already launched a RM15 billion GDV project on the 2,200 acres – hence a project on 3,200 acres will have significantly higher GDV.

And if indeed the state government’s priority was to ensure the settlers were compensated as soon as possible, why didn’t the state government just spend the RM300mil out of its state reserves of RM3 billion to pay for houses for the settlers while it gets back the 3,200 acres of land from the “crony” companies?

Also, to blame BN for the 18 years wait is not fair. You must remember that the settlers signed the deal with the crony companies in the year 2000. The project was declared failed in year 2005. By the year 2008, Pakatan already took over Selangor.

Thus, 3 years can be blamed on BN while Pakatan should shoulder the remaining 10 years of blame.

Source: Eric See-To

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