Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shouting match erupts at meeting to resolve land dispute

KUALA LUMPUR: A meeting to resolve a land dispute between residents and a developer in Bandar Tasik Selatan turned into a heated debate between Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed.
A shouting match between the two led to tycoon Abu Sahid leaving the room in a huff, ending the meeting abruptly. Both parties presented their ultimatums at two separate press conferences later.
Raja Nong Chik said the land should be returned to the Govern­ment and developed for recreational use.
Difference of opinions: Raja Nong Chik (centre) and Abu Sahid being seen together at the meeting yesterday. The meeting was held to resolve a land dispute as reported in StarMetro (left) on Thursday.
“The barricade on part of the land put up by the developer has to be taken down. They have to remove the hoarding within 14 days,” Raja Nong Chik said.
He added that if the developer refused, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would remove the structure.
At a separate press conference, Abu Sahid said: “The houses and the land are mine, which I bought in 1989. The whole of Bandar Tasik Selatan (involving eight phases) is my development,” he said, adding that part of the land had been given to the military and highway concessionaire Kesas.
“Part of the disputed land is where my house is located. They claim that it is an open area which is not true,” he told reporters.
However, Abu Sahid said he never built apartments for which the land was approved. Instead, he built five bungalows on the land.
When asked what would happen if DBKL tore down the barricade, Abu Sahid said: “Under what law would they give me the notice? It is my land. We will discuss the matter.” Lawyer and Town Planning activist Derek Fernandez said once a land had been allocated for development, it could not be returned to the owner.
“It’s no longer private land but government land under the control of the Federal Lands Commissioner. The fact that the owner makes a business decision not to proceed with the development does not give him the right to force the Govern­ment to return the land to him,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bandar Tun Razak Umno division secretary Zaharin Mohd Yasin said he was asked to leave the meeting by the Maju Holdings guards only to be called in by Raja Nong Chik.
“However, I refused to go in because it would mean that the minister would be insulted. They were very rude.
“How is it that a developer has so much power?” he asked.
Zaharin said he would quit the party if the land was not returned to the people.
“I am here to fight for the rights of the people. If my party cannot help the people, then there is no point in me being there,” he added. - theStar

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