Kuala Lumpur: Titiwangsa parliamentary candidate Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has denied allegations that he was silent on the Kampung Baru acquisition issue.
Speaking to an online portal, Johari said allegations by former Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad were untrue.
Johari said this while reiterating that he had been opposing the use of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 to recover the land from its owners from the very beginning.
“I had repeatedly aired my views on the subject when I was a member of parliament,” he was quoted by FMT as saying.
Johari, who is seeking to recapture the Titiwangsa seat he won in the 13th General Election (GE13), said there was sufficient proof that Kampung Baru could be redeveloped successfully.
He was referring to the development of UDA Legacy, which did not require the use of the controversial legislation.
UDA Legacy, also known as Legasi Kampung Baru, is a condominium complex developed by UDA Property, then under the purview of Johari. It was completed in 2020.
Its units, which value between RM700,000 and RM2.8 million, were offered to Kampung Baru residents who accepted the redevelopment proposal made to them.
In the news report, Johari also pointed to an agreement between a developer and PKNS flat owners in Kampung Sungai Baru in November 2018 which troubles him to this very day.
Located near the Saloma bypass, the flats were 42 years old and in decrepit condition.
The agreement, sighted by the portal, was dated Nov 3, 2018, when Khalid was the federal territories minister.
Johari also slammed Khalid for politicising the matter in the lead-up to the Nov 19 general election.
Johari said Khalid and Titiwangsa member of parliament, Datuk Seri Rina Harun were not receptive about the various issues surrounding the agreement at the time it was entered.
“Khalid and Rina, who were both cabinet ministers at the time, failed to protect the interests of unit owners. Under their watch, 89 per cent of them signed the joint venture agreements with a developer whose credibility was suspect,” he said.
Johari added that the developer through the government had forced the remaining 11 per cent of the occupants who did not sign joint venture agreements with them by using the Land Acquisition Act.
“There would have been no need to resort to forcible acquisition if Khalid and Rina had paid greater attention to the matter from the very outset.
“Copying the UDA Legacy project blueprint would have struck a fair balance between the interests of residents and developmental needs,” he said.