KUALA LUMPUR - Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin has been urged to present the bill to form the Kampung Baru Development Corporation to the residents first before tabling it in parliament.
Speaking at a forum to discuss the government's controversial plan to redevelop the area, PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar questioned the secrecy surrounding the contents of the proposed law, adding that as long as the bill did not get the residents' consent, Nong Chik had no right to table it in parliament.
“What is the government so afraid in revealing details of the Kampung Baru Development Corporation Bill to the residents? What is there to hide from them? For as long as the people of Kampung Baru reject it, (Nong Chik) does not have any right to table a new bill on Kampung Baru.
"This land does not belong to his ancestors," said the outspoken Pokok Sena member of parliament at the forum, "Kampung Baru Development Corporation: Land Grab or Welfare?", held at the Sultan Sulaiman Club, Kampung Baru, last night.
In February, prime minister Najib Razak announced the construction of high-rise buildings, condominiums, shopping malls and residential areas as part of the area's redevelopment project, likely to be undertaken by government-owned Permodalan Hartanah and Tabung Haji.
Ignorant of history
Mahfuz reiterated that Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians would stand by the residents' decision if the government refused to consider their feedback.
Others who spoke at the forum were lawyer Hanipa Maidin, as well as Tian Chua and Nurul Izzah Anwar, respectively the MP for Batu and Lembah Pantai.
In his speech, Tian Chua, reminding that Kampung Baru was a gift from the Selangor Sultan to the Malay community in Kuala Lumpur, slammed the Federal government for snubbing the Selangor state government in its plans for the area.
“The government is ignorant of history, ignorant of the law, and they only speak in terms of monetary gains ignoring the welfare of the traditional Malay village," said Tian.
He added that the Kampung Baru issue transcended the Malay community and was a national issue sparked by UMNO, which he described as a "Malay party which sidelines Malays themselves".
“If we take a look at the surrounding areas, there are skyscrapers, but here in the middle lies an area which has not been developed in the true sense.
"This is the result of the government's non-transparent management of Malay reserve land, and its desire to develop only for profit," she said.
PAS lawyer Hanipa Maidin questioned the government's bid to take control of Kampung Baru, saying there was no guarantee that the proposed PKKB would not be abused for selfish interests.
Saying the residents were against PKKB and not the area's development, Hanipa warned that the Barisan Nasional government's track record were full of broken promises.
“The Federal Territories minister claims that this Corporation is to act as a check on Kampung Baru, but who is going to check on the government?," he asked, adding that the government had always ensured that it wriggled out of legal suits over its abuses.