SYN­ERGY PROM­E­NADE’S SIDE OF STORY

Firm ex­plains trans­fer of ti­tles of Felda’s Jalan Se­marak land

New Straits Times - - BUSINESS - KUALA LUMPUR

PROP­ERTY de­vel­oper Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade Sdn Bhd has come up with its side of the story re­gard­ing the con­tro­ver­sial trans­fer of ti­tles of Felda land in Jalan Se­marak, here.

In a state­ment on Satur­day, a Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade spokesman said the Kuala Lumpur Ver­ti­cal City was to be built on parcels of land owned by Felda at Jalan Se­marak, com­pris­ing three tow­ers — 68 storeys, 75 storeys and 70 storeys — with a gross de­vel­op­ment value (GDV) to­talling RM2.5 bil­lion.

He said to meet the fi­nanc­ing needs for the pro­ject, the com­pany trans­ferred some of the land ti­tles to se­cure fund­ing.

How­ever, he said fol­low­ing the trans­fer of land ti­tles, there were sev­eral al­le­ga­tions made against the com­pany such as abuse of power, cor­rup­tion and mis­con­duct.

“For the record, the trans­fer of land ti­tles was in ac­cor­dance with the agree­ment reached be­tween Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade, Felda and Felda In­vest­ment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC),” he said.

“We have also com­plied with the proper pro­ce­dures and con­di­tions through the Land and Mines Of­fice,” he said.

The spokesman added that Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Seri Azam Baki had pre­vi­ously stated that there was no el­e­ment of cor­rup­tion nor abuse of power over the trans­fer of land ti­tles.

“The MACC’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed that there was weak­ness in gov­er­nance, and this mat­ter was sub­ject to po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Sub­se­quently, the po­lice also closed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and con­cluded that no fur­ther ac­tion would be taken,” he said.

He said if Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade had in­tended to trans­fer the ti­tles for its own in­ter­ests in­stead of the de­vel­op­ment as Felda had al­leged, the com­pany could have sold the parcels of land di­rectly to a third party.

“In­stead, we trans­ferred the ti­tles to our name, thus caus­ing us to bear the costs as­so­ci­ated with the trans­fers, such as high stamp duty,” he said.

Of the 24 parcels of land listed in the agree­ment, he said Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade only trans­ferred 16 ti­tles nec­es­sary for the de­vel­op­ment of the three tow­ers as re­quired by Felda.

The com­pany had also in­formed Felda man­age­ment over the trans­fer of the ti­tles within a rea­son­able time frame, but there was no feed­back re­ceived and only sev­eral months later (af­ter the trans­fer process was car­ried out) the com­pany was called for a meet­ing, he said.

“Dur­ing the meet­ing, we ex­plained to Felda the rea­sons be­hind the trans­fer.

“How­ever, Felda re­fused to ac­cept it and in­sisted that the ti­tles be re­turned to them, and Felda had also cho­sen to re­veal it through the me­dia,” he said.

He said fol­low­ing the con­tro­versy, a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) on the re­turn of the ti­tles to Felda was signed be­tween Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade and the agency to en­able the de­vel­op­ment to pro­ceed and to avoid fur­ther con­tro­versy.

He said Felda agreed to ac­cept the land ti­tles and promised to help re­solve the cri­sis.

“Thus far, we only had one meet­ing with Felda and it gave us an as­sur­ance that we are to re­ceive a pro­posal on this mat­ter.

“Un­for­tu­nately un­til to­day, we have not re­ceived any pro­posal even though we have given them sev­eral re­minders.

“Now that the six-month pe­riod stip­u­lated in the MoU has passed, it has ren­dered the agree­ment null and void,” he said.

Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade had writ­ten sev­eral times to Felda re­quest­ing feed­back per­tain­ing to the res­o­lu­tion on the de­vel­op­ment pro­ject, he added.

He said one of the MoU terms stip­u­lated that the trans­fer of ti­tles must be car­ried out in ac­cor­dance with the proper pro­ce­dures and laws.

There were two parcels of land sub­ject to caveats where the au­tho­ri­sa­tion from the state govern­ment was re­quired for the process of trans­fer of land ti­tles, he said.

“In ac­cor­dance with the proper pro­ce­dure, we need to submit an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Fed­eral Ter­ri­tory Land and Mines Of­fice (PTGWP) to ob­tain the ap­proval from the au­thor­ity and the is­suance of a let­ter of con­sent to trans­fer.

“How­ever, be­fore we sub­mit­ted the ap­pli­ca­tion, we were sur­prised to learn that the ti­tles of the two parcels of land had al­ready been trans­ferred to and reg­is­tered un­der Felda.

“Sub­se­quently, we had writ­ten let­ters ask­ing for clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the PTGWP sev­eral times on this mat­ter,” he said, adding that no feed­back had been re­ceived.

“We are of the opin­ion that there is a pos­si­bil­ity of abuse of power, and the trans­fer process of the ti­tles of the two parcels of land did not fol­low the proper pro­ce­dures and we will lodge a re­port to the MACC on this is­sue,” he said.

At the same time, he said Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade hopes to hold dis­cus­sions with Felda’s new chair­man Tan Sri Me­gat Za­harud­din Me­gat Mohd Nor, but as of Satur­day, the com­pany had yet to re­ceive any con­struc­tive feed­back from the agency.

“The proper so­lu­tion should be done in the in­ter­est of all par­ties — Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade, Felda and FIC. But if this is not the case, we have no other choice and will not hes­i­tate to re­sort to le­gal ac­tion against Felda and/or FIC to en­able us to ob­tain rea­son­able com­pen­sa­tion,” he said.

PIC BY MO­HAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

Syn­ergy Prom­e­nade says it had writ­ten sev­eral times to Felda re­quest­ing feed­back to re­solve the de­vel­op­ment pro­ject.

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