MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Stripping of Kinrara Oval begins as cricket chief declares ‘sad day’


The Malaysian Cricket Association has been asked to vacate the Kinrara Oval.

PETALING JAYA: Hundreds of assets at the Kinrara Oval went under the hammer today, marking another chapter in the storied history of Malaysia’s famed cricket arena.

As the stripping of the stadium began, the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) pledged to settle unpaid assessment fees of over RM1.8 million that triggered today’s auction.

MCA president Mohammed Iqbal Ali Kassim Ali said in a statement: “Today is a sad day for cricket in Malaysia, an unprecedented event in the history of sporting associations in Malaysia.

“At the moment, our concerns turn to the national players who will now need to be housed elsewhere and the 42 full-time staff who are understandably concerned.”

FMT reported yesterday that land owner, Perumahan Kinrara Berhad (PKB) had ordered MCA to vacate the more than three-hectare site due to the arrears in assessment fees.

PKB had paid the fees, believed to be about RM200,000 annually, over several years on behalf of the national cricket body.

Today’s auction, conducted by Aura Auction, followed an order from the Shah Alam High Court on March 17 in favour of PKB.

Assets up for sale ranged from players’ hostel furnishings, gym fixtures, canteen and kitchen equipment, office fittings, tractors and machinery. It is not known how much was raised.

In his statement, Iqbal disclosed that MCA had disputed the outstanding amount sought by PKB on the basis of the difference in the assessment rates between sports and recreation and commercial properties.

Iqbal said the MCA had not paid the current outstanding amount because it was a disputed matter.

He said since the MCA was a non-profit organisation, the Subang Jaya City Council should have based the tariff on sports and recreation instead of on commercial rate.

“It was for this reason that we had disputed the tariff and were taken to court, on which the judgment came against us.”

“We respect the rule of law and will endeavour to settle the outstanding amount as ruled by the court,” he said.

He added the tariff for quit rent was based on sports and recreation and “we are up to date with statutory payments including to the Land Office”.

MCA occupied Kinrara Oval in 2003 and signed a 15-year lease agreement with PKB, a joint venture company between I&P Group Sdn Bhd, Armed Forces Fund Board, and pilgrims’ fund, Lembaga Tabung Haji.

In 2019, the home of Malaysian cricket was saved from closure after the government blocked an attempt by PKB to oust MCA from the facility.

The then youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had said the “Cabinet decided that saving the cricket ground is more important than commercial development”.

MCA was granted a two-year extension on the lease with a reminder that use of the land, from the beginning, was only temporary as it had always been earmarked for development

PKB, a subsidiary of property development company I&P Group Sdn Bhd – wholly-owned by SP Setia Bhd – had long wanted the prime land, west of Kuala Lumpur, for a commercial project.

MCA held that the Cabinet decision, as reported by Bernama on Feb 15, 2019, stated the youth and sports ministry confirmed that the Cabinet had given special approval to the MCA to continue operations at Kinrara Oval. - FMT

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