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Thread: Local Council: Largest Land Fraud, Derek Fernandez

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    Local Council: Largest Land Fraud, Derek Fernandez

    Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:07 Largest land fraud - PJ City councillor







    http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/in...illor&Itemid=2

    PETALING JAYA - The changes seemed minor – some colours and shades switched, and a few words altered. But the implications to the PJ Draft Local Plan Two (RTPJ 2) were staggering as the value of land was increased by several hundred million ringgit, making millionaires of those engaged in such malpractice.


    In what has been described as the largest land fraud in the country, Petaling Jaya City Councillor Derek Fernandez charged that irresponsible people within the council changed the plan to cause substantial increase in the land value.

    Using the controversial change in status of the PKNS field in Kelana Jaya in the RTPJ2 as an example, he said as recreational land, it would fetch about RM20 per square foot but as commercial land, it can go as much as RM500 psf – a 25-fold increase.

    The local plan, he said, was amended unlawfully twice, with some 220 unauthorised and illegal amendments involving 40 plots of land including the PKNS field.

    Most of the amendments had been done in complete violation of the law and hidden from the councillors who were “fed a steady diet of lies” at every meeting of the council’s One-Stop Centre which scrutinises applications for development.

    In a lengthy submission to the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) on Friday, Fernandez said there were three different versions of the local plans in existence which are purported to be legal and which carry the government gazette notification number.

    “These amendments were done by people who knew about the procedures involved but yet chose to ignore them. The only valid local plan is the one assented to by the (Selangor) State Assembly and the law requires the MBPJ (PJ City Council) to publish (in the gazette) the assent and make it available for public inspection.

    This means the other two plans ‘pretending’ that they have been assented by the State Assembly are false, deceptive and the perpetrators have committed a (criminal) offence,” Fernandez said.

    He also raised four questions which he said Selcat – which had hearings for two days last week, and is set for another one on Thursday – should investigate:

     Who ordered MBPJ officers to go to the Selangor Valuation Department to carry out the illegal amendments with the intention of enhancing the value of the land for certain interests?

     How did the persons involved know how to amend the zoning of 40 plots of land unless the land owners or those who had interests in the said plots contacted the officers?

     Who gave the list of 220 amendments to be made?

     How did these owners get the land and how was the land converted and the titles issued which are inconsistent with the zoning under the local plan?

    Outlining the methodology prescribed in the legislation, Fernandez in his submissions, said planning aims to provide sustainable development irrespective of the status of the land use.

    In the event a proposal for re-zoning is made which is different from the title, the affected person can object and if his or her objections are dismissed by the state hearing committee and the local plan is assented to by the state authority, he can seek compensation. If, however he does not object, he is taken as having agreed with the zoning change.

    This has a direct relation to the issue, yet, there were no objections before the local plan was gazetted.

    Requesting Selcat to carry out further investigations, Fernandez said: “You will find that many plots of land are stolen from public open spaces, recreational land and land meant to be surrendered to the local authority for public purposes.

    “Even land surrendered for public purposes by developers and not used for the purpose were stolen and later alienated to cronies, avoiding public hearings.

    Magically, titles later appear for these plots and that is how the public is robbed. That is why the planning records are different for those lands.”

    RTPJ2 became mired in controversy when documents referred to by the Selangor Town and Country Planning found the public field owned by PKNS was zoned as a recreational area, whilst the documents referred to by MBPJ indicated it was a commercial zone.
    py

  2. #2
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    Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:06 The hidden hands must be exposed in PJ City council?




    http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/in...ncil?&Itemid=2

    THE fact that the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is a hotbed of illegal activities has been chronicled in this column over the years. This newspaper has over the years published several series of articles on, among others:



    >> revenue meant for the council being siphoned to individuals using its sports club;
    >> public hearings held after the development order being issued;
    >> council officers owning low-cost houses meant for the poor;
    >> giving out contracts under dubious circumstances.

    The list is a long one and each time some thing was exposed, the then state government went to the extremes to protect the wrongdoers. Despite producing documentary evidence including cheques, no one has been brought to book. In a sort of way, no one believed us when these charges were put in print.

    On Thursday, hopefully, five people elected by the people will be able to justify the six lines above. When Teng Chang Khim, Haniza Talha, Saari Sungib, Hannah Yeoh and Sulaiman Razak who are members of the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) meet to continue their hearing into the unauthorised and illegal changes made to the PJ Draft Local Plan Two after it was gazetted, the truth will emerge.

    But it will not be straightforward to get the identities of those involved. There could be three other scenarios. One would be an unconditional confession and admission by those involved. Two would be another round of finger-pointing like last week. And the most plausible third in view of the heavy penalties which come for forgery, an outright denial by heads of departments whose primary responsibilities were to ensure the reproduction of the Plan as in the Government Gazette.

    The crux of the matter is that 220 changes were made by MBPJ officials WITHOUT the sanction of the council or councilors. In short, some individuals took it upon themselves to make the changes. And as Teng sarcastically put it, it couldn’t have been the bus driver! What were the motives for such blatant action which more than borders on criminality and it’s best left to the readers’ imagination as to why someone would risk going to jail by doing it.

    Wanting to get to the bottom of this, at last week’s hearing, Teng posed this loaded question: “Who took the initiative to suggest the change? Was it an officer, or was it decided by a committee in a meeting? It can’t change on its own?” No straight answers were forthcoming. Instead, Selangor Valuation Department deputy director Azman Talib said most of the amendments involved text correction, technical errors. Those that involved land use, 16 of them, were due to updates from MBPJ.”

    MBPJ deputy planning director Faiwos Abdul Hamid defended the revisions and said the changes were made to comply with the state’s instruction to ensure that land use stated on land titles are consistent with the local plan. But how did land zoned as “recreational” end up as “commercial”? Surely, they can’t be “technical” corrections and surely, Teng and his committee are not likely to accept such unconcealed lies.

    When scandal emerged a month ago, among others, I wrote: Let’s not fall back on the proverbial “printer’s hantu (ghost)”. The printer is given the final artwork in the form of a soft copy which he transfers to a film and plate before mounting and printing. There is no reason for the printer to make amendments or change the colour contained in the final artwork. The printer reproduced what was given to him. Now comes the issue of who approved the final artwork and signed it off for printing. This person must take full responsibility because the buck stops with him or her. He or she must have ensured that the information contained in the artwork is a true reflection of the local plan which had been deliberated, approved and gazetted.

    Noing has changed except that the principal officers involved must be made to sing like canaries after being caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
    -thesundaily
    py

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