Cannot guarantee protection for ownership of heritage Chinatown properties. SPAD CEO Mohd Nur Kamal in a letter to The Malaysian Insider today cautioned the public against accepting “misleading views”. — file pic KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) came out today to deny any “land grab” in its acquisition of Jalan Sultan properties for the MRT project but admitted it could not guarantee that the acquired lots would later be returned to landowners. In a letter to The Malaysian Insider, SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Kamal said while the acquisition process was being worked out in detail, the government “is in no position to make guarantees of the return of these properties”.
But he reasoned that what was most important was that the government had “listened” to feedback from the affected parties and had agreed to a mutually acceptable outcome. “This clearly shows that the government is acting in good faith and will continue to do so in resolving this and any future issues related to the MRT,” he said in the three-page letter. The transport regulator complained that dissenting views expressed over the controversial land acquisition had been based on “inaccurate, incomplete and a lack of understanding” of the facts. SPAD has been under constant fire from angry traders with businesses located in the historic Chinatown area over its plan to acquire their properties to facilitate the tunnelling portion of the multibillion-ringgit rail project. Suspicion has also been raised over whether the transport regulator’s purpose of acquiring the prime land lots was to exploit their commercial value to fund the construction of the MRT, said to be Malaysia’s most expensive infrastructure project to date.
Among others, Jalan Sultan traders are also upset that they were not consulted prior to the final alignment of the MRT’s Sungai Buloh-Kajang line and are now also mulling following Bukit Bintang traders in filing for a judicial review on the proposed acquisition. But Mohd Nur cautioned the public against accepting “misleading views” and urged them to first examine the intentions of those making such allegations, saying it could be designed to confuse and aggravate the situation. He confirmed that the government was exploring Hong Kong’s “rail plus property” scheme to help minimise spending on public transport infrastructure but stressed that this would only be carried out on government-owned land that is “unused, underutilised or not being utilised optimally”. “Indeed, there may be instances where private land may be purchased to enhance the development potential but this will be done on a ‘willing buyer-willing seller’ basis. “Therefore, the accusations that the land that is being compulsorily acquired for the MRT project is tantamount to land grabbing, is baseless,” he said.
For the Jalan Sultan or Chinatown lots, Mohd Nur said that in the interest of time and other factors, the government had decided to select the option of acquiring all the affected properties at the outset before re-releasing them back to their original owners after tunnelling works are completed. He pointed out that this had been worked out following SPAD’s meeting with the landowners and MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek recently. Mohd Nur quoted Dr Chua as saying during a press conference after the meeting that the “government will proceed with the acquisition but with the condition that it would strengthen the buildings affected by the construction of the MRT tunnel, for the safety of the buildings’ occupants …
But after the tunnel is completed in about six months, they will be allowed to move back in to conduct business as usual.” SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, he added, had also stated that all the parties involved understood that there were many details yet to be worked out in order for this to be achieved such as compensation, timeline and the rights of current tenants occupying the properties.
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Two terms for the Rakyat. ALLODIAL and EMINENT-DOMAIN. If enough people vote specifically for MPs and Assemblymen who will adopt the above 2 as laws (that Bar Council is shamefully not even addressing or promoting, I once discussed this with a titled lawyer of some prominence, and he shied away from the issue entirely . . . so if lawyers would have non-lawyers do the Bar Council’s job to protect the people, we don’t need lawyers anymore now do we? They act as mere toll keepers for documents that the government will not release until the ‘toll fee commission’ is paid first), all properties that are freehold will NEVER be subjected to nonsense acquisitions like this.
Just drop BOTH coalitions and run as a private candidate if your MP and Assemblyman are not going to implement the above 2 terms into law. Also when in doubt, vote only for Joe Publics who are worth no more than 200K, also see the pledge/questionairre below and ask your MP candidate or Assemblyman candidate, current MP or Assemblyman to sign with a cam taking down the signing in the presence of as many media reporters or people as possible :
Rakyat, 2 more terms to learn and judge your MPs by. Think before you vote. Logos before ethos (i.e. substance before form, or thereabouts). Also study the below link which the entire legal profession needs to study (some portions are floridly expressed but the section on property rights is particularly relevant to the Chinatown issue) :