PKR's Semambu assemblyperson Lee Chean Chung revealed a written reply issued during the Pahang state assembly sitting last November, which he claimed proved that part of the Tok Sira Malay reserve land in Kuantan had its reserve land status cancelled.
"The cancellation of a part of the Tok Sira Malay reserve land for the ownership of HS(D) 16495, Lot 51703, Mukim Bandar Kuantan, Daerah Kuantan was done through the Pahang Government Gazette No 558 dated Aug 3, 2000," read the written reply from Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob.
The reply added that the cancellation was upon the request of a private firm, in accordance with the company's status as a public-listed company on the Kuala Lumpur Bursa, where the ownership of their shares are not limited to Malays only.
It also said that it made sense to cancel the reserve land status of that particular piece of land, as it had commercial potential.
"However, the cancellation of part of the Tok Sira Malay reserve land was not replaced because it was taken into account the gazetted Malay reserve areas which are more than the original Malay reserve areas," the reply read.
Speaking at a press conference in Petaling Jaya today, Lee criticised this, saying that under the Federal Constitution, if any piece of land stops being a Malay reserve land, any other land of the same kind and not bigger than that should be used to replace it.
Clearly, he said, the Pahang government's decision in this matter goes against that provision.
Lee previously raised concerns about this particular piece of land, where he alleged that Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief Hasan Arifin earned at least RM321,000 after purchasing the land at far below market value.
He claimed that it started in 1997, when the Pahang state government approved the sale of a 141,000 square foot piece of land in Mukim Kuala Kuantan to a private firm.
Hasan was Pahang deputy menteri besar at the time.
Lee cited documents stating that in 2002, three years after his term as deputy MB ended, Hasan purchased the land for RM76,499.
“(But) the estimated value of the land based on the stamp duty office's assessment notice is RM213,000. Hasan bought the land for 61 percent below market value,” Lee had said.
Hasan had denied there was any corruption in the deal, saying the land he purchased from a company called Pasdec was not Malay reserve land, but freehold land.
The PAC chief denied he was the board member of both Pasdec and Pahang State Development Corporation (PKNP) when he purchased the land.
"The purchase from Pasdec and the selling was done above board and there were no elements of corruption," he said.
"As comparison, state and federal government agencies such as Putrajaya Holdings and SPPK sell land to government officials and staff," he added.
Hasan had earlier said he intended to file a defamation suit against Lee, demanding RM5 million in damages, if the PRK assemblyperson does not apologise within 14 days from the letter of demand.
Lee however refused to apologise.
Malaysiakini has contacted Hasan and is awaiting a response from him on this matter.- Mkini