Kampung Baru: Former Finance Minister II tells Khalid Samad to get real

Johari said if the government were to take or confiscate Malay-owned land in KL and then subsequently do development without people’s agreement, it is unlikely many will be attracted to the offer’s RM1,000 land value. Source (pic): TTF

Former finance minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has accused the Pakatan Harapan government of being “insincere” with its offer to buy Kampung Baru residents’ land.

He also highlighted that the offer as stipulated by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has preconditions to it that are impossible to achieve — such as the need for the offer to be accepted by all owners.

Noting that 230 acres of Kampung Baru if valued at RM1,000 psf amounts to RM10 billion, the ex-minister then asked who will control the SPV.

“Is it to be the private sector, or the public? If the government will control the SPV, I want to know which agency will own it, and how will the SPV obtain a RM10 billion loan?


KUALA LUMPUR: Former finance minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has accused the Pakatan Harapan government of being “insincere” with its offer to buy Kampung Baru residents’ land.

He also highlighted that the offer as stipulated by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has preconditions to it that are impossible to achieve — such as the need for the offer to be accepted by all owners.




“For example, the offer of RM1,000 per square feet (psf) is only valid if all 100 per cent of the 230 acres of land in Kampung Baru is agreed upon by its owners,” Johari said in an interview with Malaysia Gazette.

He added that there are some 5,000 landowners or heirs in the village situated at the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Describing this precondition as illogical, he added the same goes for another precondition, wherein those who take up the government’s RM1,000 land value offer are compelled to use part of that value to purchase shares in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which will be set up to facilitate redevelopment in the area.

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“My question is, if you want to force people to purchase the SPV shares by using their land value, how will the government of today guarantee the SPV company will not end up like those land companies which have since closed down?

“Can the government guarantee its profit for those forced to sacrifice their land’s value, in subscribing to the SPV? This is essentially a form of coercion, and renders the offer quite impossible to be agreed upon by all of Kampung Baru’s landowners, should this condition remain,” Johari said.

Noting that 230 acres of Kampung Baru if valued at RM1,000 psf amounts to RM10 billion, the ex-minister then asked who will control the SPV.

“Is it to be the private sector, or the public? If the government will control the SPV, I want to know which agency will own it, and how will the SPV obtain a RM10 billion loan?

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“Which bank, or even foreign country for that matter, will be able to grant a RM10 billion loan. And in the event the SPV is publicly-owned through an agency and has obtained the loan, has current Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng consented to give governmental guarantee for said loan?” he asked.

Under these circumstances, Johari said the government’s offer ends up being little more than for show, as well as an attempt to shoulder off one’s responsibilities quickly instead of properly.

“I am not against a blanket offer, but take from those who accept it and do not force those who refuse. Consider for example landowners who have developed their plots into nice structures with several storeys and collects considerable rent income from it, why should they be forced to take up the offer?

“Asides from being insincere, the government is not really assessing the situation, and what they plan on doing to gain people’s confidence. Bring in those who agree to the offer and do not wait for those who disagree,” he said.

Johari suggested the government, via the Kampung Baru Development Corporation or the Federal Territories Ministry, open up the proverbial negotiating table and let the landowners come to them.

“In that case, any land owner who comes in to sign the agreement should be paid upfront. If you offer it to 10 people, and only six take it up, do so first and then conduct development on those respective plots of land.

“Let the other owners yet to decide see the extent of the potential development, and how advanced or attractive it looks like, it may help them reconsider,” he said.

Ultimately Johari said if the government were to take or confiscate Malay-owned land in KL and then subsequently do development without people’s agreement, it is unlikely many will be attracted to the offer’s RM1,000 land value.

“Remember that Kampung Baru is 118 years old, and is a heritage for many of its landowners. Different communities have different views or values when it comes to land,” he said.

On Friday, Khalid said the RM1,000 psf offer was the final and best offer to be made by the government to Kampung Baru residents, and was endorsed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday. He added it was limited to RM850 maximum in cash, with the remainder account to be given in SPV shares.

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