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Hannah Yeoh: Why no MACC action over TRK issue despite conflict of interest?

PETALING JAYA (May 15): Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh has urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to take action over the controversial Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) land case, accusing the graft busters of “not reacting” even with “clear” information about a conflict of interest provided by The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4).

Yeoh said at a media conference today that she had lodged a report regarding the case to MACC when she was first elected. “But I am not the first to have lodged the report. The Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents' Association (TTDI RA) have lodged, the former MP for Segambut has also lodged a similar report.”

She added that C4 has also provided extra information about conflict of interest of former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and current minister Khalid Samad in the TRK development land case. “Clearly and very evidently, there is conflict of interest. Why hasn’t MACC replied to this allegation?”

Also present was anti-corruption activist and C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel, who explained about the complicated connection between Tengku Adnan and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, the developer that had formed a joint venture with Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) to build eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments (comprising 1,766 units) and a 30–storey affordable housing block (comprising 350 units) on part of TRK land.

Yeoh reiterated that the intention is not to deny the longhouse residents from getting their new homes. “We are all for new housing for the [longhouse] residents… But do not encroach into TRK. Do not use the longhouse residents to justify greed, and do not use them for encroachment into the green lung.”

Prominent lawyer and human rights advocate Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan expressed her disappointment of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for not putting a stop to overdevelopment in Kuala Lumpur.

She stressed that the TRK case is an example of the new government not distancing itself from the previous administration.

“Why is this [Federal Territories (FT) Minister] not distancing himself from someone like Tengku Adnan, whom we had known for years to have been involved in issues relating to developers?”

While she does not disagree with Khalid for saying that the current government must fulfil contracts, but she also emphasised that the government’s duty is with the people when there is clear illegality.

“It’s so disappointing, and it’s pretty disgusting, to use the longhouse residents to further the agenda of a private developer, when actually the public interest should come first,” she said.

Ambiga also opined that YWP should be dissolved, as it is a foundation disguised to benefit developers but not the poor.

According to a company profile that the C4 obtained from Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), YWP is a company incorporated under the companies act, hiding behind the disguise of a “yayasan” (foundation).

Khalid announced in end-March that the TRK dispute will be tabled at the Cabinet meeting in April, but no progress has been seen thus far.

Yeoh has requested to submit her input for a second option to the cabinet. “My paper is ready. We are waiting [for Khalid], and I will attach mine in.”

Yeoh explained that Khalid has to “circulate” the paper to get feedback from other ministry, thus causing the delay. She also said that the Attorney General’s input must be considered as the dispute involves possible compensation.

“I’ve exhausted every avenue to convince the FT minister that this is a wrong project to begin with, and the right thing to do is to honour the promise we made to the people of Kuala Lumpur,” Yeoh noted.

Khalid has previously proposed to scale down the project by half, which both Yeoh and the TTDI RA have said “no” to.

The latter has proposed to provide housings to the longhouse residences at the longhouse area itself, and not encroaching into TRK.

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