S'gor will stop LTAT land deal if rules breached

7:17PM Dec 30, 2012

The Selangor government today announced that it will scrutinise, and if necessary block, a deal pertaining to a 200-acre land in Bukit Raja which the Defence Ministry's Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) said it intends to acquire for RM130 million.




LTAT, through its investment arm Boustead Holdings Berhad had on Thursday announced that it will purchase the land from Selangor Umno Wanita chief Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah's (left) company Awan Megah (M) Sdn Bhd.

The land came under the spotlight after a court dispute erupted between the Umno leader and controversial businessperson Deepak Jaikishan.

In a statement today, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's political secretary Faekah Husin said her boss has instructed the Selangor Land and Mines department to do the needful.

"If we find any breach of procedure or any dealings that is against the rule that occurred before 2008, we will not hesitate to stop them, be it a title transfer or pending transaction.

“The state government view these transactions seriously as it involves public money from the retirement fund of servicemen," she said.

Faekah (right)said preliminary investigation showed the land was initially handed over to Federal Land Commission for a military camp.

"The state government is curious how a land that had been gazetted as a military land could be transacted commercially unless there was instructions or interference from the higher ups.

"The state government will also investigate if the land was indeed later transacted to Raja Ropiaah at RM7 per square feet or RM72 million and allegations that she had sold part of it to another company at RM16 per square foot for a quick profit.

"We will go through all the documents, one by one," she said.

Business quagmire

The land, which Deepak claimed was promised to him by Raja Ropiaah in a business deal, became the centre of attention after the former accused Raja Ropiaah of fraud when he discovered she had entered into a joint venture to develop part of the land with another company.

Deepak had since launched a broadside against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, claiming that he made substantial financial contribution to the premier's family for endorsement of this deal and demanded that Najib intervene to resolve the matter.

In a surprising turn of events on Thursday, Deepak withdrew his lawsuit against Ropiaah over the dispute and the LTAT announced that it will purchase Deepak's company Astacanggih Sdn Bhd for RM30 million and the 200-acre land for RM130 million from Raja Ropiaah's company Awan Megah (M) Sdn Bhd.

PKR strategies director Rafizi Ramli had yesterday described the deal as outright bribery, accusing Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi (right) of abusing public funds to placate Deepak and Raja Ropiaah in a bid to cease the attacks against the premier.

He had also called on the Selangor government to block the deal, which it responded positively in the statement today.

"The Selangor government will not allow Umno to misuse public funds to save leaders who abuse power for their political and personal benefit," said Faekah.