22 October, 2010

MB Kedah's Reply

From The Star 21 October, 2010

State quizzed over quota

ALOR SETAR: Three developers have sought approval from the Kedah Government to undertake housing projects on swapped Malay reserve land and offered to sell 70% of the units to bumiputras.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak who revealed this said the developers made the request on their own accord after their initial applications were rejected.

“They have made several appeals to the state government since 2008 for their applications to be approved,” he said to reporters.

He was commenting on the allegation by Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang last week that the state government had quietly increased the bumiputra housing quota from 50% to 70% on swapped Malay reserve land.

When Azizan denied the allegation, Tan submitted three letters issued to developers by the state Land and Mines Office directing the developers to sell 70% of the units to bumiputras.

Tan also alleged that the state government wanted to gazette the bumiputra lots as Malay reserve land.

Yesterday, Azizan confirmed that his office had received the three letters and was investigating the matter.

He said there was no directive to compel the developers to sell 70% of their units to bumiputras.

“The 50% bumiputra housing quota on swapped Malay reserve land still stands,” he said.

Azizan said he had asked state Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Phahrolrazi Mohd Zawawi to meet the three developers soon.

When contacted, Tan said there could have been a hidden directive from the state government to the developers.

“It is illogical for them to happily volunteer to sell 70% of their units to bumiputras after investing a substantial sum to swap the Malay reserve land into non-Malay land,” he said.

Tan said it was difficult for developers to fill the 70% quota especially in Alor Setar since bumiputras might not prefer certain locations.

He said Azizan should clarify whether the state government would gazette bumiputra lots as Malay reserve land after the swapp-ing.