PUTRAJAYA: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has saved almost half a billion ringgit of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) money since it came to power in May last year, according to a federal minister.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said this was achieved through renegotiations on 97 land transactions in the federal capital, which boosted DBKL’s income by RM481 million.
He listed this among the major successes of the ministry, one year after the PH government swept to power by toppling the Barisan Nasional in the general election on May 9 last year.
According to media reports, the renegotiations were held following the discovery of cases of land transactions which were made without going through open tender and also cases where land was sold below market value during the BN administration.
The additional revenue was obtained in the form of cash and land value, including five land transactions negotiated outside the court and for which repayment was in the form of infrastructure, he told a media conference at his ministry here in conjunction with the first anniversary of PH in government.
Khalid said the gazetting of the Kuala Lumpur Development Plan 2020 in October last year was also an excellent move by the ministry to control the development of Kuala Lumpur.
Looking ahead, he said the ministry is drawing up the Kuala Lumpur Development Plan 2020-2040 and expects to put it on public display at the end of the year.
Khalid said that when he took over the ministry, he found that the development plan for the capital city had high population and development density at 2,000 people per acre (0.40 hectare).
“So for the Kuala Lumpur Development Plan 2020-2040, what we will set out in the gazette is a maximum density of 1,000 people per acre,“ he said, adding that development density will also be reduced to control development.
To check traffic congestion and help the B40 low-income group, Khalid said, DBKL had taken over the Go KL bus service and deployed it to People’s Housing Programme residential areas.
Khalid said the service, which offers free rides to areas with easy access like railway stations and other public transport facilities, benefits more than 1,000 passengers daily.
On the Taman Rimba Kiara project, he said the ministry had successfully negotiated with the developer to scale down the development size from 12 acres to eight acres following protests from Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents who disagree with the project.
“I have discussed with the developer to scale down the project from eight blocks to four blocks of apartments only and one block of apartments will still be given to 100 longhouse families as agreed earlier.
Khalid said the instituting of the Minister’s Council Meeting at DBKL proved the transparency of the PH government in developing Kuala Lumpur.
This can be seen from the participation of 11 Members of Parliament at these meetings, which also involve the Datuk Bandar of Kuala Lumpur, and DBKL and ministry officers.
“The meetings, which are held once every two months, are an innovation as we call 11 MPs to sit together with DBKL and the ministry, where they also think like a government administering KL and jointly plan and decide policies for the development of Kuala Lumpur.
“Previously, Members of Parliament did not have much function in DBKL decisions, so when we took over we wanted to balance the power of people’s representatives and pave the way for them to share their ideas,“ he said.
Khalid said this initiative brought forth the people’s voice from their respective parliamentary constituencies, including on matters like traffic congestion, affordable housing, cleanliness and pedestrian pathways in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama