Kuala Lumpur: Barisan Nasional Titiwangsa parliamentary candidate Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has hit out at his Pakatan Harapan (PH) contender, Khalid Abdul Samad over land ownership issues in Kampung Sungai Baru redevelopment project in Kampung Baru.
Johari said Khalid had 22-months during the PH rule to assist the residents involved in what Khalid alleged as land that was wrongfully confiscated by the government through the misuse of the Land Acquisition Act 1960.
“It is not that I did not defend the residents (as what Khalid claimed) but I did not have the capacity to do so as I ceased to be the Titiwangsa member of parliament (MP) then. If it was just about lip service, I can talk like them. (Khalid)
“But he was the Federal Territories Minister for 22-months and he was also the MP (for Shah Alam) then, why didn’t he try to resolve this if he felt the developer did not give fair terms to the residents?
“So you cannot blame people who were not linked to the government then. I was not the elected representative in 2018 and 2019,” said Johari at the Titiwangsa Penalty Shoot Out football programme as part of his meet-the-people 15th General Election (GE15) campaign trail.
Johari, the former second finance minister, was Titiwangsa MP from 2013 until 2018 when PH reigned under the leadership of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Johari said he had disagreed with the redevelopment project which was presented to him when he was Titiwangsa MP, as he believed the developer must be financially sound to execute it.
The issue however crept back when PH came into power and 89 per cent of residents had agreed to it while 11 per cent opposed.
According to the Act, a land can be taken over by a developer when it gets 80 per cent of agreement, with the consent of the government and related agencies for the greater interest of the public.
It was reported that those who agreed to the redevelopment were given temporary homes with the promise that they would be able to return to the same site in five years.
However, the land acquisition process for the 11 per cent of land, which was to be in last December, was postponed, said former FT minister Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim.
Johari voiced his concern that it had been four years and six months but residents were unable to move back.
“I am only afraid that they will be in the same fate as Pekeliling Flat residents, who are suffering because they have been waiting for 14 years for their homes to be completed.
“I want to resolve this if I am given the mandate as MP,” he added.
In GE15, Johari is contesting against Khalid, Pejuang’s Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Perikatan Nasional’s Dr Rosni Adam.
Johari is seeking a re-election for the seat he won in the 13th General Election but lost to Datuk Seri Rina Harun in the 14th General Election.