Rahman Dahlan takes Selangor MB to task over decisions related to Ijok land deal

BY Azril Annuar
Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s GE14 promise to build English-medium schools in Sabah and Sarawak is ‘fantastic’. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

CYBERJAYA, Feb 14 — Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) has questioned Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s decision to drop its case in the Federal Court in May 17, 2016 over a billion-ringgit land deal in Ijok, when the case clearly favoured the state government.

Its director, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that when Azmin came into power in 2014, he agreed to hand over the land measuring 2,198.4 acres to two developers whose contract had been revoked by ousted Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for failing to pay the premium on the land.

“What is Azmin’s justification for surrendering the land worth RM1.18 billion to Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd and LBCN Development Sdn Bhd when High Court and the Appeals Court had decided in favour of Khalid’s decision to retake the land?

“Why didn’t Azmin wait for the case to be heard in the Federal Court seeing that the State Government has won in the High Court and the Appeals Court? Why did Azmin make a hasty decision leading to losses for the state and people of Selangor?

“If his intention was to solve the compensation issue to the settlers, why didn’t he make a direct sale to the public company and used the RM1.18 billion resulting from the sale as compensation?” asked Abdul Rahman.

The Kota Belud MP also claimed that the compensation paid by Azmin to the 980 settlers did not reflect the land’s price today.

Each settler received RM180,000 in cash and a house worth RM250,000. The total amount paid to the settlers was RM421.4 million.

“Where’s the balance RM758.6 million? If Azmin had fought in the Federal Court he would have won the case and the state government could have made that much through direct sale. This is a loss for the state and its people,” said Abdul Rahman.

He also wanted to know whether Datuk Seri Khairudin Abu Hasan who sat on the board of director for both Mujur Zaman and LBCN before being declared bankrupt in 2014 had influenced Azmin’s decision.

In 1998, the settlers agreed to allow a few companies including Mujur Zaman and LBCN Development to develop the land in Ijok, including their housing. The companies also agreed to pay the settlers compensation.

However 10 years later, the settlers were still left waiting for their compensation and now the housing.

When Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor after the 2008 General Elections, then Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim seized the land utilising the National Land Code.

Khalid reportedly said the companies did not meet certain conditions under the National Land Code which they did not pay the land premium, failed to change the land’s status from agricultural land to residential land; and did not pay the premium to change the land status.

Mujur Zaman and LBCN Development then sued the state government at the High Court and on October 22, 2013 they lost the case. They also lost the case at the Court of Appeals on February 17, 2014.