Chinatown land buy: ‘Prasarana abusing law’

By Teoh El Sen | August 16, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, a 100% government-owned transport company, is abusing the law for the purposes of profit in making “unnecessary” property acquisitions in Chinatown, the DAP alleged today.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said the National Land Code 1965 was specifically amended in 1990 to allow for the acquisition of underground land without affecting surface property.

“This was done by inserting Part Five (A) (section 92A to 92G) under Clause 3. The amendment enables the disposal of ‘underground land’, which can either be alienated or leased or be subject to right of use,” he said.

“Clearly then Prasarana is attempting to hijack the above pieces of land which affect the heritage shoplots in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown for the purpose of making profit and not with the aim of undertaking the MRT project 100 feet underground,” said Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

“Such action for profit is clearly an abuse of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 and done in bad faith,” he added.

Pua urged Prasarana to “stop making outrageous excuses” and immediately withdraw its order to landowners to give up their property as it is possible to use the land without acquiring their property.

Pua quoted Prasarana project development director Zulkifli Mohd Yusoff as saying last week that the acquisition of Chinatown land was a must as “Section 44 of the National Land Code 1965 states that property owners not only have the right to the plot itself but also the air space above and ground below”.

During a meeting with the affected property owners, Zulkifli also said Prasarana had consulted the Attorney-General’s Chambers on whether it was possible to tunnel undernearth existing properties without having to acquire them.

“The above ‘excuse’ for the compulsory acquisition of land above the tunnel is complete and utter nonsense. Either Prasarana is trying to get away by telling tall tales, or the Attorney-General’s Chambers does not know what laws have been passed in this country,” said Pua.

Underground amenities

He said the amendments to the National Land Code were specifically made to allow for the construction of underground amenities, including railways.

“When the amendments were debated and passed in Parliament on Dec 15, 1989, the then deputy land development minister, Mohd Khalid Mohd Yunus, had presented the bill and clarified that this was to enable the construction of underground car parks, underground railways and underground pipes and other conduits,” Pua said.

Last week, property owners in Petaling Street cried foul when it was made known that Prasarana was acquiring their private land and 34 shoplots in the area to make way for the Jalan Sultan portion of the MRT project.

Others also said that the area was an important part of the city’s heritage.

Prasarana is acquiring 500 to 600 lots of private land, which is about 20% of the total land area needed for the project.

The track alignment, which was approved by the government a few months ago, will run along Jalan Sultan from KL Sentral and cut through the arch that bears the name “Petaling Street”. The station, along with its tracks, will be built underground, cutting its way through portions of Chinatown.

During the briefing last week, Zulkifli said: “You cannot stop the acquisition.”

  1. #1 by monsterball on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 - 8:58 pm

    The Govt do have plans to upgrade Malaysian standard of living.
    But the glaring part is…everything they do…is lined up with cultures and blood suckers to take way much much more than the usual amount to do a project.
    Tony Puah is exposing one here.
    God only knows…how many hundreds of billions these blood suckers sucked away from Malaysians…all these 30 years…developing Malaysia.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 - 9:50 pm

    The line is aimed to meet up with the100 storeys Najib Tower.

    That is the alignment. No Tower, No Acquisition.

    As far as Najib and the BN government is concerned, to heck with Little China.

  3. #3 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 - 1:13 am

    One wonders whether all these land acquisitions under the guise of the construction of the MRT is a sly attempt to remove as much as possible of the remaining vestiges of Chinese presence in KL. Already, Yap Ah Loy’s contribution in the founding of KL is downplayed in official publications and school texts. If these heritage sites and buildings also disappear, soon it will be a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 - 12:57 pm

    I see this as a plot to INVADE Chinatown! Using the Compulsory Acquisition Act as a camouflage, the government is acquiring land in Chinatown way below market rate in the pretence of exercising the above act. But what would happen after the MRT is completed? Would the government leave these properties VACANT? They are bound to begin selling them off and more often than not RESERVE THESE FOR THE MALAYS! By then, CHINATOWN is MEANINGLESS!

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