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Monday, May 31, 2010

MBPJ and developers in cahootsv - theSun

By Terence Fernandez
PETALING JAYA (May 30, 2010): The low-cost saga in Petaling Jaya has taken yet another turn with revelations that some developers were working hand-in glove with the local council to allocate low cost units for council employees.

Although then Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) president Datuk Emran Kadir had said he could not remember issuing a policy allowing council staff to purchase low-cost houses, it can be revealed that Emran not only had knowledge of the practice but had endorsed and facilitated it.

In a letter dated March 29, 2002 from Mutiara Rini Sdn Bhd director Datuk Ghazali Mohd Ali to Emran, the former had suggested to the then president that MPPJ purchase low- and medium-cost units in the Mutiara Damansara project for a "staff quarters" (see reproduced letter).

On the same letter, Emran had made remarks on April 16 directed at Planning Department director Sharipah Marhaini Syed Ali to "sila ambil tindakan" (to take further action).

Another scribbled note from an official on the same letter addressed to the planning director dated May 16 said "have discussed with Datuk Emran. He had asked that the offer be extended to all staff."

Ghazali’s letter also indicated that MPPJ should purchase 220 units from the public quota of Phase Two of the project.

Interestingly, the allotted units for the public quota is 220 units! The remaining 220 units are for the armed forces since Mutiara Rini is a subsidiary of Boustead Holdings, a company belonging to the Armed Forces Trust Board.
Ghazali went on to say that the allocations were approved by the state government.

With regards to the Sri Jati flats in Ara Damansara where 20 council staff including Sharipah own units meant for squatters, Sharipah had said Emran had asked Sime Pilmoor Development Sdn Bhd to allocate 10% of the low cost project to council staff.

In a letter dated Sept 24, 2002, Sime UEP Development Sdn Bhd assistant general manager (planning) Mohd Razlan Rahim had requested that 20% of the low cost units in Ara Damansara be allocated for company staff who were eligible to purchase low cost units, despite the fact that Sime Darby does not practice such a policy.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the paper trail which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is following has stopped at Sharipah's office, where the order to open low cost units to all council staff actually originated from.
Last Wednesday MACC officers also visited the Selangor Housing and Property Board, where they interviewed top officials and carted away documents. -- theSun


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