FT Ministry sees no need to freeze YWP land deals

Zanariah Abd Mutalib

PUTRAJAYA: Federal Territories Ministry saw no need in freezing land transactions involving its welfare arm Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) linked to the alleged dubious status of its 19 plots of land. Its minister, Khalid Samad, said the foundation had followed the procedure set for land acquisition and that there were other companies that had also applied to acquire the lots. He was commenting on a statement by Kepong member of parliament, Lim Lip Eng, who asked the ministry to freeze any transaction related to the lands in question pending investigation by the authorities. “If (we are looking at) freezing the transactions involving lands, he (Lip Eng) should not only focus on YWP alone because there were many others who also acquired the lands through the same procedure. There were other companies (involved). “Among the procedures was for them (YWP and other companies) to bid for the land application to develop and others (purposes). “The lands were acquired by YWP since 2009 and the approval was issued a while back, so it is not appropriate for me to freeze (the land deals),” he told a Press conference after attending the Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 media preview, here, today. Khalid said only one plot of land owned by YWP which was approved by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), with the remaining applications done through the Land and Mines Office. He said he had instructed a committee to be formed under the ministry to study a new business plan for YWP. “The existing approach is no longer sustainable. Starting from now, we will seek business opportunities by using YWP as the medium to generate revenue to be used for charity purposes,” he said. Khalid said he had also instructed YWP to organise welfare programmes through Federal Territories members of parliament, instead of Barisan Nasional. “Previously, most of the MPs were under opposition parties; there were numerous charity programmes that could not reach constituencies that they represented. I have decided against the old ways (through Barisan Nasional) ; carry out the programmes through the MPs,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd