Selangor strategic communications director Yin Shao Loong, “The two previous court decisions favoured the state administration, that was led by Khalid. But the state was still required to pay hundreds of millions of ringgit as compensation to the two companies and the bank that granted them the loans.”
23 February 2018
Two-decade wait for houses shows BN never cared, says Ijok settler
SELANGOR Umno has never been truly concerned about the settlers affected by land deals in Ijok as shown by the 18-year wait for promised housing and compensation, said settlers’ representative Omar Ali Bashah.
Now that the majority of settlers have received their dues, he said he was puzzled why Umno has taken issue with the settlement and accused the Pakatan Harapan-led state government of wrongdoing.
“After waiting for 20 years for this matter to be sorted out, why are there Umno leaders who want to question this when the problem occurred during their administration. Their menteri besar also couldn’t resolve this problem.
“If Selangor is being governed by Umno-Barisan Nasional, surely the land would be auctioned by the banks and lending institutions,” said Omar, who has represented the settlers since 2013.
He is also the head of Alam Utama Bukit Cerakah and Alam Mutiara action committee, which was set up to ensure settlers were compensated when their land was acquired by developers Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd and LBCN Development Sdn Bhd under the Barisan Nasional state government in 199
Ijok land deal explained, by Selangor government
Former Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim is also wrong. Their attempts to politicise and pervert the facts of the case stem from their pursuit of a political agenda to take back Selangor for themselves.
The handing over of RM180,000 compensation and houses now worth around RM500,000 to each one of over 980 settlers and their heirs after an 18-year struggle was a good deed facilitated by the present Selangor state government under the leadership of Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.
BN has tried to tarnish this achievement, and as usual, Khalid has attempted to cast himself in a more favourable light and raise the suggestion of scandal.
There was a land scandal in Ijok, but this occurred when Selangor was administered by Umno under Abu Hassan Omar and Mohamed Khir Toyo, two of the three political have-beens Umno recently revivified in its attempt to take back the state. Settlers were promised houses and compensation for their land and it was never fulfilled until this month by Azmin.
You’ve heard the wrong side, now hear the right side.
Rahman Dahlan is very confused about the amount of land in question. He thinks it is only 2,200 acres. It actually totals 3,200 acres.
It is helpful to think of the land in terms of two parcels of three “Alams”, of Alam Perdana on the one hand, and Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama on the other.
Alam Perdana is about 1,000 acres. Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama together make up 2,200 acres. The latter is what Rahman is asking questions about.
He thinks that the state “gave back” this 2,200 acres to the landowners after winning rights to it in court. He also thinks the state paid these landowners RM1.18 billion on top of this. He is wrong. Completely wrong.
The truth is that the Selangor government under Khalid took out land acquisition proceedings on the 1,000 acres of Alam Perdana land in 2010, using the Land Acquisition Act 1960.
It was blocked by a court stay order from doing the same on the 2,200 acres of Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama, which remained private land. This private land is the subject of the RM1.18 billion deal. There is no issue of the state “handing back” the Alam Perdana land it won to the developers. All questions raised on this assumption are invalidated.
As has been reported, the Selangor government won the court case over the 1,000 acres of Alam Perdana. However, it also lost a court case to Maybank, which sued Selangor for compensation for a mortgage held on the land. This compensation would amount to RM260 million. There was also a legal claim of as much as RM600 million by the landowner for compensation for existing infrastructure.
This meant that Selangor would have to pay additional compensation of around RM860 million if it acquired Alam Perdana. In fact, RM160 million had been paid during Khalid’s (photo) time as menteri besar, and he has admitted to this in his Feb 19, 2018, interview with the New Straits Times, despite denials by his mouthpiece Faekah Husin of financial risk to the state. With land acquisition, there is no free lunch.
In the time since this saga started, the original three companies that owned most of the 3,200 acres had changed ownership. No longer held by Umno cronies, the new owners were the ones that approached the state with a proposal for a settlement with a new private investor.
Selangor state, represented by Azmin and a team of negotiators, was agreeable to a deal that would see the land transferred from troubled owners to a reputable developer, provided that it met certain conditions. Most importantly, the deal would resolve the woes of the settlers. If justice wasn’t delivered to the settlers then Azmin was prepared to block any deal.
A further condition imposed by Azmin…..was that the new landowners and creditors would also drop any compensation claims on the state in exchange for their claims being settled by the sale to the developer. This would also extend to the 1,000 acres of Alam Perdana won in court by Selangor and spare the state from the RM860 million compensation bill incurred by Khalid.
Azmin also demanded that all further claims for the 1,000 acres in Alam Perdana be withdrawn so that the state would not have to pay a single sen more for it. It would then be developed for the benefit of the Selangor people.
Finally, the abuse of power suit against Khalid and the state government would be dropped to prevent further liability. Khalid was saved from the threat of bankruptcy once again, thanks to Azmin.
The new owners of the Alam land agreed to this. In one stroke Azmin had liberated the state from over 30 court cases and billions of ringgit in potential liability incurred by Khalid. He had also secured the settlers’ long-awaited compensation and housing.
The financial breakdown
Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama, comprising 2,200 acres of land, were purchased by a developer for RM1.18 billion.
Rahman alleged that a purported RM421 million out of the RM1.18 billion went to the settlers and attempted to cast a negative light on the remaining RM759 million.
So, there you go. A developer bought the land from the three companies for RM1.18 billion. That money went towards paying off their debts (RM700 million), resolving their unfulfilled promise to the settlers (RM295 million), and the remainder paid for the land itself (RM185 million).
Justice for the settlers
The settlers themselves told me that they didn’t want to wait any longer for a better deal. The deal they received in February was better than both the original deal and the “deal” offered by Khalid.
Why was it better? During the 18 years that this process has taken to resolve, 385 out of the 981 settlers have passed away, with their heirs receiving their compensation. The remaining settlers are elderly and worried they wouldn’t have long to enjoy their compensation and homes. They feared that the banks would auction the land, given its bad debts, and that they would be left high and dry.
Pursuing a stubborn struggle through the courts for the state to acquire all the land, then seeing if the land turned a profit, before any portion of the profit would be returned to the people – this was Khalid’s plan, and it was a plan that would have taken too long. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Khalid also refused to fully cover the cost of the settlers’ homes. Since the original offer from Umno’s cronies was for homes worth RM180,000 and such homes in Khalid’s time as MB would cost RM250,000 to build, Khalid wanted the settlers to come up with the balance of RM70,000 each themselves. They could not afford such an amount and rejected this proposal. Khalid was more obsessed with trying to outshine commercial developers, rather than seeking justice for the settlers.
The deal that Azmin was able to help facilitate garnered the settlers houses worth RM500,000 and compensation of RM180,000. This was an outcome that the settlers had negotiated with the private developer, recognising that it was better to close a good deal rather than try to push for something the developer might not accept.
This is why the settlers of Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama are happy. After 18 years of disappointment, uncertainty and ill-treatment, they finally have what they were promised.
Out of the 981 settlers and their heirs, the Umno-controlled media has focused on just one lone individual who is disgruntled and tried to present him as representative of more than just himself. They have completely ignored the settlers’ committee, which convened a press conference on Tuesday to rebut Rahman Dahlan’s false claims
Thus, to summarise, Umno and its cronies sank the Alam lands into a mire of debt and failed to deliver their promises to the settlers. Khalid tried to play the role of a developer with coercive powers of government but ended up tied down in legal cases and compensation claims. He was unable to resolve the problems of all the settlers, he was unable to develop the land.
Azmin managed to resolve this mess by imposing conditions on a private acquisition of Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama that solved the settlers’ woes, that incurred no cost to the state, and secured the state’s claim on Alam Perdana at no further cost.
This good deed has been politicised because Umno/BN cannot clean itself up, so it is trying to tarnish Selangor’s achievements, from affordable housing under Rumah Selangorku to solving the problems of the Ijok settlers.
BN, meanwhile, has been presiding over a housing crisis it cannot solve and Felda settlers that continue to suffer under its mismanagement.
As for Khalid, it is clear that he still harbours political ambitions for the menteri besar’s office. He will need the help of Umno to reclaim it. This is why he has turned up at the Umno Selangor convention and has tried to piggyback on their false allegations against the Selangor government. Thus, it is no surprise that we see them both trying to attack Azmin and Selangor.
In the coming months, the people of Selangor will decide who serves the people best. The settlers of Alam Mutiara and Alam Utama know for sure who has helped resolve their 18-year struggle for justice and peace of mind.
YIN SHAO LOONG is Strategic Communications Director of the Selangor Menteri Besar’s Office.
20 February 2018
Tanah Ijok antara persepsi jahat & fakta
February 15, 2018
Ijok land: Umno caught on back foot over settlement, says Azmin’s aide
PETALING JAYA: The Selangor government says Umno is now in “panic” mode over the Ijok land issue now that it has been revealed that Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali had solved the long-standing matter that he inherited from the previous administration.
Selangor strategic communications director Yin Shao Loong claimed Azmin’s decisive action had solved the Ijok land settlers’ 18-year dispute with the state government.
“The dispute started when Selangor was under the administration of Umno/BN and the settlers had to wait 18 years for justice.
“Azmin’s swift action helped to solve their woes, which is in line with the social justice principles and people-centric stance by the state government,” Yin said in a statement today.
The land in Ijok was initially given to a group of settlers in the state in 1998 by the then BN state government.
The settlers then agreed to allow two companies, Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd and LBCN Development Sdn Bhd, to develop the land in exchange for compensation and housing.
It was reported in 2015 that ECO World Development Group Bhd bought a 889.5ha parcel of land in the northwestern Klang Valley corridor for RM1.18 billion to develop three property projects, worth an estimated RM15 billion in gross development value.
“The dispute which Azmin inherited was settled by selling the land to a qualified developer for RM1.18 billion, which allowed the settlers to receive compensation and their houses,” Yin said.
He added that by settling the disputes, Azmin proved to have looked after the welfare of the settlers when announcing that each would receive RM180,000 in cash and houses, now worth at least RM400,000.
Yesterday, Barisan Nasional (BN) strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan had challenged Azmin to answer lingering questions on the Ijok land deal.
Among the questions was why Azmin withdrew a court case that was pending before it was mentioned in the Federal Court and why he allowed two companies, Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd and LBCN Development Sdn Bhd, to sell the land to a third party.
“Rahman’s questioning of the matter shows the leader is shallow in thinking and does not understand the background of the issue,” Yin said.
He also said that Azmin’s decisive action in solving the Ijok land issue proved how former Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim had taken “risks” in his actions on the same.
“The two previous court decisions favoured the state administration, that was led by Khalid. But the state was still required to pay hundreds of millions of ringgit as compensation to the two companies and the bank that granted them the loans.
“This shows that Khalid’s action came with high risk as it would affect the state’s finances,” Yin said.
Documents related to Ijok land issues now with MACC: Azmin
Last updated on 16 February 2018 – 12:23pm
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government has handed over all documents related to the land issues in Ijok to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali…
He said the documents were handed over to the MACC a few months ago following reports lodged by several non-governmental organisations demanding for investigations to be carried out into the issues.
“The state government has given its full cooperation. Now let’s wait for the investigation findings,” he told reporters here today.
Mohamed Azmin said this in response to Barisan Nasional (BN) Strategic Communication director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s remark yesterday, urging the menteri besar to explain why the state government “hastily” returned the disputed land worth RM1.18 billion in Ijok to two housing developers.
Abdul Rahman said the action raised questions because both the High Court and Court of Appeal had, in 2013 and 2014 respectively, ruled that the land belonged to the Selangor government. — Bernama
15 February 2018
Khalid calls for explanation over Ijok land deal, Azmin denies allegations
SHAH ALAM: Former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pic) has called for an investigation into the land deal in Ijok involving two developers and the state government.
“Why was the land that was seized by the state government when I was mentri besar, returned, and then sold to another party?” asked Khalid in a statement on Thursday (Feb 15).
His statement follows Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s press conference on the matter on Wednesday (Feb 14).
Rahman had said that current Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has to explain why the seized land was returned to the companies they were seized from.
Both the companies had sued the Selangor state government when Khalid had seized the land from them.
However, both the High Court and Court of Appeal had held in favour of the defendant.
The case was still pending at the Federal Court with Azmin filing a settlement agreement in May 2016 stating the Selangor government and the two companies had reached an agreement to annul the case.
When contacted, Azmin said these were unfounded allegations.
February 14, 2018
RM1.18 bil land sale: Rahman slams Azmin over ‘middleman’ companies
CYBERJAYA: Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan has challenged Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali to answer lingering questions on the Ijok land deal.
The land in Ijok was initially given to a group of settlers in the state in 1998.
The settlers then agreed to allow a few companies, including Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd and LBCN Development Sdn Bhd, to develop the land in exchange for compensation and housing.
The companies were then allowed by Azmin to sell the land to a public company for RM1.18 billion.
Rahman said the settlers only got their compensation a few days ago when Azmin announced that the state government had paid all 980 settlers RM180,000 and given them a house worth RM250,000 each.
Rahman, who is also a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, questioned why Azmin did not wait for the case to be heard in the Federal Court and instead withdrew the case although it would have favoured the state government.
“It was a stupid thing to do. Did the two companies force Azmin to allow them to sell the land?
“Azmin should know that the previous decisions from the High Court and Court of Appeal had favoured the state and the then menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. He, too, would have stood a good chance of winning the case in the Federal Court.
“What is his justification to hand over the land worth RM1.18 billion to the companies when the case was not even heard at the Federal Court yet? What was the rush to withdraw the case?
“If Azmin’s intention was to settle the compensation claims by the settlers, why didn’t he sell the land to a public company and use the RM1.18 billion to settle their compensation claims?
“Just a few days ago, Azmin announced payment of RM421 million to the 980 settlers. What happened to the balance of RM758.6 million?” he asked during a press conference here today.
Rahman also said MACC was already conducting an investigation into the matter as many reports had been lodged.
However, he declined to give further details.
“You can ask the details from MACC.”