Promise no surface land grabbed for MRT, Pua tells MRT Co

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 14, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — DAP MP Tony Pua today demanded that MRT Co issue a blanket decision for all land acquisition matters involving the Klang Valley MRT project, apart from its pledge to leave Jalan Sultan properties untouched.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said no surface land should be grabbed to make way for tunnelling work for the multibillion ringgit rail project while underground land should only be acquired strictly to construct MRT stations or its ancillary facilities like air vents and access points.

“No parcel of land should be compulsorily acquired for the purposes of profit generation by the government,” Pua said in a statement here.

After months of controversy, new MRT project owner MRT Co promised Jalan Sultan traders yesterday their properties would remain untouched and would not be acquired if they agreed to vacate their premises for six months during construction on the railway line.

Transport regulators, the government and former project owner Prasarana had previously stopped short of issuing such a guarantee to the traders, who have now started a large movement comprising all affected stakeholders to protest the acquisition threat.

But in a separate statement yesterday, MRT Co appeared to offer no such guarantee to Bukit Bintang traders, who have also taken their fight to the fore.

The corporation said while it would not take away the traders’ land rights, it would have to clear the surface area and dig down in order to build the proposed underground MRT station.

“We will compensate for any loss of business in the interim and for any demolished buildings. Further, we are open to an agreement where we will re-build shops for the owners to return to in return for acquisition,” the corporation promised.

The Malaysian Insider understands, however, that the traders are strongly opposed to any destruction of properties above ground and still prefer a realignment of the MRT’s Sungai Buloh-Kajang line.

Pua said the about-turn for Jalan Sultan properties was tantamount to a concession from the government that it was possible for underground stratum land to be acquired for tunnelling purposes under the National Land Code without affecting ownership and surface land use.

“As highlighted many times during the controversy, the National Land Code 1965 had been specifically amended in 1990 to allow for the acquisition of underground land without affecting surface property by inserting Part Five (A) (section 92A to 92G) under Clause 3.

“The amendment enables the disposal of ‘underground land’, which can then either be alienated or leased for the use to construct tunnels, car parks and to lay pipes,” he said.

Pua added that civil society should bask in the victory of yesterday’s announcement for Jalan Sultan traders, saying this was yet another proof that public pressure could affect major changes in government policy decisions.

He cited the formation of the parliamentary select committee for electoral reforms and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recent promise to reform press and security laws as examples of the government pandering to the wishes of civil society groups.

“The above actions also prove that civil and political pressure works to correct the wrongs and abuses, and hence more Malaysians must speak up and take part in activities to defend their basic rights and entitlements,” he said.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 14 October 2011 - 11:44 am

    Of course he prefers jibbi! Under Hsien Loong, he ain’t no able to no get no NEP benefits!

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Friday, 14 October 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Remember you are dealing with a government that does not honour treaties, peace treaties. You know what I mean.

    So as they say in trade language, caveat emptor.

  3. #3 by monsterball on Friday, 14 October 2011 - 5:36 pm

    Many are helpless…but their power of votes will save them.
    We are living under a tyrant Govt that controls everything.
    Divide and rule….by rouges and thieves….using dirty race and religion plus stolen corrupt minds.
    You want that? You get it.
    Forget about your dignity and principles in life.
    But if you are smart will unite and vote these thieves out.
    Try the other “Devil” that have not stolen one sen.
    What have you all got to loose changing and use your power to make sure politicians respect you and not treat you like animals with water cannons and tear gas…and die mysteriously for nothing.
    Think as Malaysians for country and people….more and more….stronger and stronger…and see UMNO b rouges shiver from their pants……starting with Najib.
    Naturally Mahathir….the mastermind of all evils.. will not shiver.
    He is so old..and he knows it…no one cares to for a very old man…any time can drop dead naturally.
    Just vote UMNO b out and cut out the rotten influence to your lives.

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Friday, 14 October 2011 - 10:27 pm

    Invasion of CHINATOWN by the MALAYS! They are not satisfied with just monopolizing MASJID INDIA!

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