PETALING JAYA: In defence of its housing project on the land initially gazetted as an open space and utility reserve in Taman Aman, Sri Aman Development Sdn Bhd provided evidence that it has the necessary land titles and developer's licence to justify its ownership.
Project manager Cho Kah Hing told fz.com that Sri Aman inherited the land from Tanda Baik Sdn Bhd when it bought over the company in 1992.
"Since those days it was privatised land. The first approval from local authorities was for low- and medium-cost housing on the land," he said.
The lenses are now focused on the state government for giving up the open space for development — the focus of investigations by federal authorities.
fz.com had reported on Tuesday that the three parcels of state government land — PT9, PT10 and PT11 — were initially gazetted as open space and utility reserve land in the 1990s but was later identified as the property of developer Tanda Baik and subsequently, Sri Aman Development.
All three parcels of land were initially planned for 2,000 low-cost and medium-cost housing units.
However, Sri Aman Development is slated to construct 18 three-storey terraced houses on PT11, much to the consternation of residents nearby.
The other two parcels are for the Sri Aman low-cost flats and a medium-cost condominium named Paramount View.
The case is one of many incidences that has been reported to the urban well-being, housing and local government ministry and in response, the ministry's town and rural planning department is probing claims of syndicates that falsify government documents for development.
Cho said the initial plan of 2,000 units of such housing on PT9, PT10 and PT11 was deemed to have exceeded the prescribed density for the area, according to then Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ).
"There were too many high-rise buildings in the area already. So we had to re-plan the development which was why we changed one part of the land to accommodate terraced houses," he said.
Asked about the annulled land titles on PT11, Cho said Sri Aman Development had already subdivided the land title into 18 lots for the individual units of terraced houses slated to be constructed on the plot.
"We got the land title before 2011 but we have already subdivided it for the 18 units," he said.
Cho said the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government is fully aware of the case.
He said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had addressed the matter in the state executive council meeting, seeking verification on the land titles possessed by Sri Aman Development.
Cho seemed to be in the loop over what transpired at the state exco meeting as the minutes are classified under the Official Secrets Act.
"An officer from the land office was at the meeting and Tan Sri Abdul Khalid had asked him whether the land titles were registered under our company, to which the officer confirmed," he said.
Cho said residents have been opposing the housing project for years and explanations to them have proven to be futile.
"We keep explaining to residents about the matter but some of them are still opposing us. It should not be that way. We have all the necessary documents and approvals for the project," he said.
According to the copies of the land titles obtained from Sri Aman Development, the parcels were issued under the ownership (tarikh pemberimilikan) of Sri Aman Development on Feb 23, 2006 and were subsequently registered on Aug 9, 2007 and Feb 21, 2008.
Tomorrow: Land was divided into sub-plots and given to developer
For more stories, go to www.fz.com, the website for freedom of expression and fairness in articulation.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 15, 2013.
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