TTF A Kadir Jasin’s claim that the Johor Pakatan Harapan administration is giving out government land to royalty (see news item below) is cryptic and raises a lot of questions.
1. Why is Jasin making it public?
2. Why is the Prime Minister not discussing the matter instead with the Johor government on a formal basis?
3. Why would anyone caution the Johor Menteri Besar publicly and risk jeopardising Pakatan’s reputation if indeed things are smooth sailing between the federal administration and the Johor government?
4. Could it be that this a PPBM issue?
5. Is Jasin trying to rope the DAP into Mahathir’s fray with the Johor Palace knowing very well that the DAP is dead against Royalty?
5. Is Mahathir pissed that some of the land he intends to ‘quietly’ offer the Singaporean government falls under the jurisdiction of the Johor Ruler?
On the 24th of April 2019, I wrote:
Mahathir’s dissatisfaction with (former Johor Menteri Besar) Osman Sapian traces all the way back to the not-so-distant-past, when the Tengku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ), Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, criticised the federal government for attempting to revive the bedevilled crooked bridge proposal.
The criticism, which struck Mahathir as a challenge by the ruler of Johor to see who had the final say on land matters, came just two days after Osman announced that Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali would be headed for Singapore to discuss the project with his southern counterpart.
According to TMJ, it would make more sense for the federal government to improve on healthcare and proceed with the construction of a hospital in Pasir Gudang.
While that made perfect sense, his criticism threatened to open a Pandora’s box of unsavoury details that Mahathir preferred to keep hidden from public.
These details were previously released by the Tun Abdullah Badawi administration when Mahathir, then a retiree, accused Abdullah of being a coward and referred to Malaysia as “a half past six country with no guts” for scrapping the project.
Abdullah saw no way out, as the project was fraught with obstacles from the get go, many revolving around Malaysia’s obligations to Singapore under the 1961 and 1962 water agreements, the Wayleave agreements and the Separation Agreement of 1965.
Stacked somewhere amid the details were classified documents that bore excerpts of communications that took place between Mahathir and two former Singaporean Prime Ministers, namely, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong.
The communications shocked Malaysians of all walks when it was revealed that Mahathir quietly put Singapore’s usage of Malaysian airspace and the sale of Johor land on the negotiating table.
It was further revealed that Mahathir was advised by the then Attorney General to do away with the project as the construction of a bridge, however crooked, would require the demolition of the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway, directly affecting water pipelines located inside and those straddling the link.
According to the AG’s Chambers, the ownership of those pipelines was vested with the Public Utilities Board of Singapore.
The AGC stressed that under the 1961 and 1962 Johor-Singapore Water Agreements, “Malaysia is required to obtain approval of PUB in relation to the alteration of water pipelines as a result of the construction of a full straight bridge or a scenic half bridge.”
It follows, that unless the Singaporean government is suddenly agreeable to renegotiating terms of the Water Agreements, problems that stood as stumbling blocks to the Mahathir administration of 2003 are likely to bedevil the Mahathir administration of today.
That is the reason why the Prime Minister is desperate to have a “yes man” serve as the Menteri Besar of Johor.
He knows that the state Legislative Assembly has complete jurisdiction over land related matters and wants a Menteri Besar who will allow him to use state-owned land as a bargaining chip to ‘soften’ the Singaporean government’s stance on prospects of building a crooked bridge.
Mahathir was tricked into submitting only Shahruddin’s name to the Palace of Johor as Osman’s potential successor.
The Prime Minister thought that Shahruddin could be trusted and would help him solicit land related matters with the Palace of Johor.
Believing this, he agreed to offer Shahruddin the post of Johor Menteri Besar on condition that the latter did not reshuffle the state’s executive council or entertain the Ruler of Johor’s request to do so.
But the minute Shahruddin was appointed Menteri Besar, he did just that.
Mahathir was pissed that Shahruddin had placed all of Muhyiddin’s men in the most strategic positions within the state assembly and that the new lineup was firmly behind the Palace of Johor.
It was then that he discovered he had been conned by Muhyiddin and that Shahruddin was Muhyiddin’s man.
Muhyiddin had planted Shahruddin into Mahathir’s innermost circle a long time ago and tasked him with learning all of Mahathir’s secrets.
Realising this, Mahathir convened an emergency meeting of the PPBM supreme council just to see how many decision makers were on his side.
The result was positive.
Despite this, the Prime Minister knows, that should he make a sudden move against Muhyiddin, PPBM will forever be split.
That explains why he’s getting Jasin to do his dirty work.
It is said that PPBM MPs from Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Penang are with team Muhyiddin-Anwar and are contemplating an EGM to boot Mahathir out from the party.
They’re also willing to opt out of Pakatan Harapan with team Anwar at a moment’s notice should Muhyiddin decide to collapse the government.
KUALA LUMPUR: The purported practice by Barisan Nasional of giving out government land to the royalty is allegedly happening in Johor under the new Pakatan Harapan administration, former veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin claimed today.
Writing in his personal blog, Kadir claimed that the Johor state government was alleged to be awarding land to the royalty, but welcomed anyone to disprove such allegations.
“All quarters can deny if untrue. I will publish their denials in full as this blog practises the right of reply,” the prime minister’s communication and media advisor wrote in his blog today.
Kadir did not provide further details or proof of the allegation, but urged the newly-minted Johor Mentri Besar Sahruddin Jamal who was sworn in on April 14 to look into the matter.
“I hope this allegation will be investigated by the new Mentri Besar, Sahruddin Jamal, as he will certainly not want to repeat old mistakes and suffer the same fate as his predecessor,” he said, adding that Sahruddin should be given some time as he was newly-appointed.
Both Kadir and Sahruddin are from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one of the component parties in the ruling PH coalition.
Kadir also went on to speak of two other alleged cases of land issues involving the royalty.
He cited a case where a company ultimately controlled by Taiwanese interests had allegedly sought to acquire land in Melaka belonging to Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) subsidiary Sime Darby Plantations at a low price.
Noting that SDP has already filed a lawsuit to challenge the compulsory acquisition of the Melaka land, Kadir pointed to written evidence that alleged of the purported role of the Kelantan Sultan in the land matter.
“The Melaka government is now led by PH and the Chief Minister Adly Zahari has already been informed of Putrajaya’s sentiment regarding that matter,” he said.
Kadir also claimed that an unnamed ruler had to pay only around RM10 million for around six acres of land belonging to the federal government in Kuala Lumpur.
In explaining this matter, he said the ruler had initially asked for 14,000 square metre of land in Kuala Lumpur that was worth nearly RM30 million in exchange for a discounted price of less than RM6 million.
He said the same ruler had then added on the request for nearly 10,000 square metres more of land worth around RM45 million with a 90 per cent discount to a RM4.5 million premium.
It is unclear which matter Kadir was referring to, as he did not provide further details in his blog posting.
Kadir claimed that the award and selling of land at below market prices were widespread during former BN chairman and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration, including land belonging to the military.
Describing such alleged practices as a “bad legacy left behind by Najib”, Kadir said action should be taken on these purported practices as part of the PH government’s efforts in institutional reforms and preventing corruption.
“In a situation where the country is increasingly running short of land and many Malaysians are unable to afford owning their own house due to the increase in property value, land belonging to the government should not be gifted or sold at cheap prices to anyone at all,” he said.
Kadir’s blog posting comes just days after PH marked its first anniversary as federal government.
In the May 9 elections, PH’s electoral victory saw BN losing many states for the first time in history, including Melaka and Johor.