A lawyer has alleged that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had given a pre-approval to a developer to turn the 2.1-hectare Bandar Tun Razak football field into a high density housing project, despite objection from residents.
Zulhazmi Shariff, who acts for "Save Jalan Jujur Bandar Tun Razak Football Field Action Committee", drew the conclusion that DBKL sold off the land before degazettement was completed, from documents and letters from DBKL and the Land Office.
"The field was gazetted as reserved land in November 2005. A reserved land is placed under the custodian of Land Working Committee of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, chaired by the chief-secretary to the government," he said in an interview with Malaysiakini.
According to photocopy of documents sighted by the news portal, DBKL applied to degazette the field on Nov 4, 2015, following a decision by Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, two months earlier.
"The minister had instructed DBKL to apply for the land to be degazetted on Sept 28, 2015, to build replacement houses for 640 units, for residents in Sri Labuan flats. It was also decided that the land will be sold to Sinerjuta Sdn Bhd.
"The minister's reply (in 2015) had showed a pre-approval plan has been given to the developer," said Zulhazmi, who questioned how this had happened when the residents were not briefed or consulted.
A parliamentary written reply on March 15 also sheds some light on the projects. The government said the football field will be developed in two phases : phase one involves of 823 units of affordable houses, including 640 replacement units for Sri Labuan flat residents, and phase two involves 1,015 units of houses sold at market price, as cross subsidy for the construction of affordable homes.
Besides this, he said the residents in Bandar Tun Razak will also be affected by two 40-storey housing projects nearby - Residensi Razakmas and The Holmes, undertaken by developer Aset Kayamas, the holding company of Sinerjuta.
Showing a land office document, Zulhazmi said the land use condition for Residensi Razakmas (5,171 sg metres) remained as DBKL training centre while The Holmes (11,215 sq metres) is reserved for the construction of a hospital.
"How can Aset Kayamas build the condominium and the apartment without converting the land use?" he asked.
He further alleged that DBKL sold the two plots of land to the developer for RM20.6 million.
When contacted, DBKL Economic Planning and Development Department director Azmi Abdul Hamid however, denied the allegation, claiming the city hall had complied with procedures relating to development projects.
He argued that buyers would not have been able to secure loans from banks if the construction of Residensi Razakmas and The Holmes were not done according to procedures.
Saying the sale of the Bandar Tun Razak football field to Sinerjuta was an "outright" sale, Azmi, however, declined to reveal the amount of the deal, as "it is between the buyer and seller, even if this is public land".
"This is between the buyer and us. If you want to sell a piece of land, how can you tell others (of the land price) ?" he said.
Without elaborating, Azmi also said DBKL has also settled the issue with residents who had objected to the proposed development.
This was however, disputed by "Save Jalan Jujur Bandar Tun Razak Football Field Action Committee" president Meor Amin Shaari, who said residents are still strongly opposed to the projects and "will fight all the way to the court", if necessary.
Malaysiakini has written to Aset Kayamas for comment and is awaiting a reply.
Sinerjuta is also reportedly going to build a RM11 million football field at Taman Tasik Permaisuri, as a replacement.
Pakatan Harapan has been slamming DBKL for selling its prime lands below market price and not making public, the details of profits gained from such deals.
DAP's Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng urged the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption of Commission (MACC) to probe the Bandar Tun Razak deal.
The Star had previously quoted Kuala Lumpur Mayor Mohd Amin Nordin saying that the City Hall would push for 20,000 units of affordable and low-cost houses to be built by 2018, to cater for the city's middle-class and the poor, and if the land belonged to DBKL, it would be either sold in an outright sale, or DBKL would enter into a joint venture agreement with developers to build affordable housing for its residents. - Mkini