Thursday, March 18, 2010

MB releases classified information on Taman Subang Ria


MARCH 17, 2010


The State Executive Councillor (EXCO) meeting today agreed to declassify the minutes relating to the alienation of land in Subang Jaya, now known as Subang Ria Recreational Park.

The Selangor Menteri Besar had exercised his powers under Section 2C of the Official Secrets Act 1972 to release the minutes of an EXCO meeting held in 1987 so that the public is aware of the decisions made by the previous government on the matter.

The minutes revealed that United Estate Project Berhad (UEP), now known as Sime Darby UEP, applied for 72.64 acres of land in Petaling (now Subang Jaya) in 1986 for recreational purposes. The premium price for the land was tagged at RM4.95 million.

However, UEP had asked for a discount of the premium and the then Petaling District Land Office (Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Petaling) advised the State Government to consider the company’s request as UEP had already spent RM10 million to build recreational infrastructure on the land and that the area would be for recreational purposes. It was further stated that a valuer’s report submitted then stated that the land is only worth RM1.575 million and if this value is used, the premium owed would be much less.

It was then proposed that 10 housing units (nine semi-detached houses and one bungalow) said to be worth a total of RM2.7 million, would be purchased from UEP as an exchange for UEP’s land premium. This exchange concept (“konsep timbalbalik”) meant essentially that UEP would make its land premium payment in kind instead of in cash.

The houses would be surrendered to the Selangor State Government, and gazetted as residences for the Petaling District Assistant Officers (Penolong-penolong Pegawai Daerah Petaling) and the Petaling District Council Secretary (Setiausaha Majlis Daerah Petaling). All 10 houses are located in SS19, Subang Jaya. This proposal was approved by the then State EXCO.

It is hoped that this declassification clarifies the manner in which Sime Darby UEP obtained its land titles for the land at Subang Ria Recreational Park. The past Selangor State Government approved the alienation of land based on consideration in kind which essentially means that Sime Darby UEP is the valid title owner of the land as approved by the then State Exco.

Although the current administration questions the ethics of the decisions made then and would not condone such practice in its current administration, nevertheless these decisions are binding and has to be taken into consideration in future decision making regarding the issue.

Sime Darby UEP has since submitted proposals on development plans on the land and is currently being considered by the state. As the rightful owner of the land, the State cannot stop them from making development plans. However, the State will ensure that the residents will not be deprived of their designated green lung area for the community’s recreational use.

Development in Selangor will not be done at the expense of the rakyat and the State Government assures that all decisions will be made with transparency and accountability and in line with the State’s “Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor” agenda .



Meng said...

The previous government who approved this "konsep timbalbalik" is the BN governmnet. MCA-UMNO and MIC who have so easily taken land.

Anonymous said...

Ownership or no ownership. It is a piece of "public property" and unless the owners can give an equal replacement ( & not in kind ) to the public. I would exercise the vote to SAY NO !!!!!


mya said...

Effectively, in 1987 that large piece of land was traded for 9 houses.

Those houses (which I guess are the ones located along busy Jalan Tujuan, subject to noise and traffic congestion for almost all hours of the day) were worth 2.7 million at the time.

If Subang Ria is developed, the houses would likely be sold at a value more than 2.7 million.

Perhaps, Hannah, you can arrange to give the houses in SS19 back to Sime Darby, and give the park back to the public?

Trevor T said...

Dear YB
but do you know of the sentiments of the residents around this area, many are against development of this "green lung" of Subang and surrounding areas.

I know is hard to metidiate but a solution must be found to accomodiate both sides, to have development but retain the 'green lung' as much as possible.

ong said...

I suggest that those who wish to comment or to make suggestions on this matter should do so in a fair and objective manner. It doesn't help to simply demand that the state government do this and do that without considering legal rights of the registered title owner and legal obligations of the state government.

Basing on the MB's press statement I gather the following facts:-

i. Sime Darby UEP is the legal registered owner to the title of the 72.64 acre land.

ii. The title is imposed with the land usage condition of "recreational purposes".

Basing on the above facts the following are the realities:-

i. Irrespective of which government, either the previous BN or the current PR government, approved the land alienation, Sime Darby UEP is now the legal registered owner of the title to the 72.64 acre land. The fact that the land was alienated with a 'lower than market value' land premium does not make the alienation illegal.

ii. A "recreational purposes" land usage is distinct from and does not equate to "open space" or "green" as many people may have assumed.

iii. The fact that this 72.64 acres of land is now held under title issued to Sime Darby UEP means that the 72.64 acres of land is private land and not public property. Unless there is an express condition imposed requiring that this land shall be open to the public, Sime Darby UEP as the land owner has the right to prevent public access to it's private property.

iv. Under our land and planning laws, Sime Darby UEP as the land owner has a legal right to apply for a change in land use from "recreational purposes" to any other purposes such as "residential", "commercial" or 'industrial".

v. Notwithstanding Sime Darby UEP's right as stated above, the state government is however not compelled to approve Sime Darby UEP's application to change the land usage. It has the right to reject such an application without having to give reasons.

vi. However if Sime Darby UEP decides to apply to develop the land in question for commercial recreational purposes, such application would be in accordance with the condition of land use imposed on the land title, and if the application is also in full and complete compliance with all planning rules and regulations, the state government and it's agencies have no right to reject such an application.

I therefore suggest that citizens should be realistic and reasonable instead of being hypocritical. In the unlikely event that if anyone of you inherits a piece of vacant land in the middle of prime real estate, would you try to capitalise on your good fortune or would you do what you are asking Sime Darby UEP to do, that is surrender the piece of land to the public for their enjoyment?

Being realistic and reasonable means asking or even demanding that the state government ensures that all development are in accordance with the title's land use and also with full and complete compliance with all planning and building rules and regulations.

Claiming that private property is "public property" is illogical and unreasonable.

The statement that this large piece of land was unfairly traded for 9 houses is indeed correct but unfortunately irrelevant in trying to solve the current impasse. Likewise the statement that if Subang Ria is developed, the houses would likely be sold at a value more than RM2.7 million.

Asking Hannah to arrange to give the houses in SS19 back to Sime Darby UEP and for Sime Darby UEP to give the park back to the public is just plain silly and childish. Please do not burden our elected reps unnecessarily by asking them to do the impossible.

GHKok said...

I think the Press Statement from the MB's office states clearly that Sime Darby is the valid owner of the Subang Ria Park by virtue of decisions made by the previous BN govt in 1986. So there is NOTHING to mediate. The land belongs to Sime Darby. Period. The people of Subang Jaya absolutely detest this unethical decision of the previous BN govt. They have abdicated their duty to the people. This is clear. What can we do ? We can spread this news to friends, neighbours, NGOs, the public, the SUN newspaper, etc. We can question this decision and make this A STORY to be told. Finally, we can demand that Sime Darby fulfill their moral responsbility to all the loyal customers who have bought thousands of houses from them in SJ, USJ and Putra Heights, and if they are keen to sell more houses, they should listen to the cries of the residents for ethical behaviour and the rights to have a park - the very basis for which many people bought houses in SJ way back in the 80s when it was nothing but an oil palm plantation. Send this clear message to Sime Darby.

hurricanemax said...

yes...the state should counter propose to SD to take back the bungalows and return us the park...Else can the state use the Land Acquisition Act to buy back from SD but at 'recreational use' land rate?

Lee Wee Tak said...

so some fler who are always "sedang mesyuarat" or "tengah berkhuusus" whenever rate payers come with issues

the fact is that why these officers have to be given free housing? are these declared in their tax returns as benefit in kind? given their senior position and good pay, can't they afford their own housing?

the opportunity cost to the residents can't be quantify/...depriving residents there the priceless item of space to destress

Tony Loh said...

Now that the truth is out, we now know why it was reported in 2005 that the State Government made a mistake as admitted by the Selangor Town and Planning Department director Datin Paduka Dr. Halimaton Saadiah Hashim, replied when questioned, said "in the case of Subang Ria Park a mistake was made when a separate title was issued to the developer. The State Government is working on the problem. We have been studying the issue for sometime now and are looking for a solution."

May I attempt to put the pieces together as I perceived it as to why the park was alienated to the developer known as Sime UEP then.

1) To help SimeUep at their request, to boost sales of their properties in Subang Jaya, which then was suffering from adverse publicity due to its close proximity to the old Subang Airport.
2) The Subang Ria park site before the alienation to SimeUep, was an ex-mining land, and the State by leasing it out could collect Quit Rent as revenue which otherwise would have gone to waste. In the process, the State is seen to have a hand together with Sine UEP, in the creation of a public park for the benefit of the residents.

It was a win win situation for the State, that is, able to collect revenue and at the same time help SimeUep boost sales. As for boosting sales, indeed it has. Look at what Subang Jaya has been transformed into, a township we all can be proud of minus the the traffic congestion though. The enticement of the Subang Ria Park has certainly overwhelmed the adverse publicity of the township being in the path of both the airforce and Mas air routes.

Under the condition of title Sime UEP developed the park into a beautiful theme park in the 1980s which became very popular. Residents used to pay a small fee to enjoy the many facilities, such as boat ride; train ride; bumper car, go-kart; jogging track; open theater; gazebos; food courts; toilets and many more. If the present owner Sime Darby is unable to fulfill its corporate social responsibility to maintain Subang Ria Park for the benefit of the residents, who have faithfully supported the growth of Subang Jaya,USJ and Putra Heights, then the only right and logical option for SimeUEP to do is to surrender the ownership to the State Government to be gazetted into a GREEN LUNG.

To approve Sime Darby Properties' application to sub-divide the park and convert the land usage to commercial/residential, the State will be making another major mistake. Two glaring mistake certainly do NOT make it right. It can only reflect on the present State Government's commitment to its promises to rectify the wrong doings of the previous Government. The favourite practice with the Government is always to sweep the problem under the carpet and hopefully in time everything is forgotten. But unfortunately for the State we the residents of Subang Jaya do not forget easily as the park is something that is dear and close to our hearts. We therefore call on the State Government to rectify the mistake and acquire the park to be gazetted as a GREEN LUNG. Subang Ria Park has always been an issue come every election and Subang Jaya residents have a big say.

I have no objection if Sime Darby Properties decide to revive the said park into a theme park like in the 1980s where facilities used are charged. I am sure the residents will be happy to support such an endeavour as it will help preserve the many big trees that are approximately 30 years old, which otherwise will be sacrificed for the sake of development. As we all know Subang Jaya is a township that is over developed and traffic congestion is a major issue daily. Please be mindful of the fact that Subang Ria Park is along the same belt of land as SS16 where it is designated as the new city centre where commercial buildings, shopping complexes and condominiums will flood the whole area. I shudder to imagine the traffic situation if development is approved indiscriminately.

For Chronology of events please lock in into SJRA blog:-

Tony Loh

Anonymous said...

Dear YB,

i think the resident is too much, the land owener has rigth to do what ever he like.

AS Gill said...

Many do not comprehand the serious implication of this application. We will loose 30 acres of the 40 acreas of land available. We will be left with a 10 acres jogging track with 30 acres of water. Pls see the calcuation below and not be hoodwinked into believing that we will be getting anything in return.
We will only have a joggin track left for our use surrounded by roads. All the open green will be destroyed. Firstly Sime built on this public area before they got the land title, who approved their putting up a theme park and other park facilites. Title was given only in 1987. How come Theme park was there before this for those who remember. Something is very wrong here. The public have been using this park which by the way is called Subang Ria Recreational Park for > 20 years. Why was it open to public for > 20 years if it was not a public park. Anyway the previous govt has publicly stated that the title was given in error(which the current exco should correct). We leave it to them on how they want to correct the mistake.
We cannot allow any non recreational developement on this 72.6 acres. This is the only town park that Subang Jaya has and is part of the green lung even in the local draft plan as well as the 2 hectares for every 1000 residents requirement. Every residents support is needed to save the park.
Sime sold houses promising a 72.6 acres park. In fact they sold houses with a public park which had a theme park, boating, public facilites, children play stations with slides and swings, Exercise stations. They deliberately destroyed all structure on this park as they were loosing money and now want to give us a park. What a lie. Lets stay united and demand that this area remain recreation all 72.6 acres of it. The solution is simple, if Sime does not want to maintain the park(as the park has outlived it usefulness to Sime's objective of selling houses)then they should return it in the spirit it was given and let the residents work with MPSJ and State to restore our park to its former glory . Calculations based on artist impression off Sime website

Total area 72.63
Water 29.96
Land 42.67

Development proposal 21.00
Roads, Roundabout, etc Est 6.00
Future development 5.00
Total 32.00
Balance available for recreation is only 10 acres out of the current 42 10.67 25%

For more information pls visit the SJRA blog

Lee Wee Tak said...

as much as I admire Ong's effort to legitimise whatever that was revealed, as a socialist democrat at heart, I beg to differ and agree to disagree.

Ong miss out on the point of opportunity cost and re-distribution of income

Now Sime was suppose to pay X amount of ringgit and state gomen could have collected the money and apply it with discretion (if that was possibly and within their mindset then) so that the people of the state could enjoy the application of funds via, say maintenance of street ligths, drainage repairs etc.

However, the potential and revenue available became fixed property and probably to be enjoyed by 9 families only as BIK associated with employment whereas other man/woman/dog/cat in the street possibly have to struggle with potholes, poorly lit streets etc.

Lee Wee Tak said...

I think Ong's point is, bad law is bad law and bad contract is bad contract but however to be a creditable government and authority, one must respect one's promise

no point crying over split milk but what I think can be done is

1) expose the previous mindset and action of the BN state administration as it is relevant fact for citizens to consider when they vote

2) PR state government knows what can go wrong, AND should not go wrong again

3) if you read DAP Economic Bureau's proposed 2010 Budget, there is a proposal for creation of a Unfair Public Contract Commission which review such contract and hope to address the issue within the terms and condition of the contract

should Sime UEP seeks to develop the said land, the present state government can impose as much reasonable condition to mitigate the situation; e.g. ample parking space, proper facilities for the disabled etc....

you can't cry oer spilt milk but one can be creative in addressing issues with given constrain

Lee Wee Tak said...

"v. Notwithstanding Sime Darby UEP's right as stated above, the state government is however not compelled to approve Sime Darby UEP's application to change the land usage. It has the right to reject such an application without having to give reasons."

- let's make public the conditions for "public recreational park" for public education so that previously denied enlightenment can be public knowledge. what was P&C shall remain P& C - Private & Confidential -> Public & Common(sense)

- the the MPSJ or whoever approving SIME's application can hold a public forum for the residents / interested party can attend and voice their opinion; this can be served as input for the approving authorities' consideration; heck, it would be great market research and publicity for SIME if they send in a marketing team with pretty & smiling executives to hear people's idea

Responsible and social concious governance has become weaker since the 1970's. If you look at it, our grand dads and dads (sorry I am that old) need not worry about inflation, crazy property prices, credit card debts etc...

since the 1980's unchecked financial wizards introducing a host of speculative instruments coupled with over enthusiastic credit creation caused cost of living to increase much faster than decades before...assets shuffling, property speculation, margin financing, volatile share market...

I prefer a more mundane and boring life than creation of suppression on the middle and the lower class


TrevorT said...

to Ong
Great write-up and clear explanation of the legality.

fyi, no one is demanding anything form S.D or the State govt. We are all just expressing our thoughts and giving our views on the sentiments from around that area.

By the way, do you stay near there ??

Anonymous said...

I dont disagree with the line of thoughts and legal reasoning that some have expounded in length. The is a legal right and there is moral right. As Gandhiji has without morals one of the 7 pitfalls. Absence of consciensce is another.
In all earnesty, for its initial intent; it must remain true to the residents of Subang Jaya as recreational purposes . It would stand that though it was compensated via house/properties in kind, it still detracts from its original promise. Per se,
Would anyone agree to be hoodwinked that a building built to be students hostel, later to changed its use to budget hotel? Same difference here, but a world of tangent intentions isnt it ?


Anonymous said...

For information sake, ownership of the 72 acres by Sime darby had been transferred and is now classified as " private " ownership.

Under the Town Council Act, any development must ensure that the town council approves its development land. However, the town council cannot simply reject SD's planned proposal if it had follow all the guidelines stipulated therein.

On the contrary, the state can stop the approval process if they found that the development is not in the interest of the environment and the people but it must act responsibly and fairly to the applicant as well.

So the state government is faced with a predicament. There must be a win-win scenario. You gain some and you lose some.

In this respect your ADUN is "powerless" as from the legal pointview she cannot interfere with the town council's decision. On the other hand, the state can review the approval process but it has to be within the confines of the law, reasonable and fair.

This situation would have been avoided if the land had not been "traded off " in the first place by the previous BN goovernment.That's why they were voted out.

My view is that in the final analysis the stakeholders must come to a compromise either with limited development and reserving and developing the greater part of the lake surrounds into a vibrant and green lung for the residents.

Anyway for the benefit of all, the BN government had been famous for taking away green patches on the fringes of jungle reserves for development. Fringes of land surrounding FRIM, TTDI park, and the reserve land in Kota Damansara and Orang Asli land in Damansara Perdana are some of the examples which were quietly taken without the people knowing it.

Anonymous said...

Now the residents of Subang Jaya know how the previous BN State Government made decision regarding the State land. Had it not for the change of the State Government following the 308 GE12 they were very much in the dark to this day.

NEO said...

So, what is the conclusion?
Sime UEP win? No more green lung?

Just like Pandora.....

Anonymous said...

ong and ghkok are right.

I hope in issues such as this, everyone will exercise restraint and maturity.

It's the same as the current fenced and guarded issue that is splitting our community. How can the authorities continue to close a blind eye to the rampant barricading of roads by a selfish few?

I am very disappointed with the DAP leaders and our ADUN for supporting the FnG issue and now this Subang Ria thing. The land belongs to Sime Darby UEP. Period.

Turtle said...

The argument is a sign of healthy democratic system working normally. Everyone has to compromise at the end.

We should keep the intensity of debate under control. The last thing I want to see is the death of PR in its infancy and the return of mummy.

Anonymous said...

I believe in any scenario, there must be a win-win, accepting the fact that we cannot turn back the clock but can learn from mistakes made in the past.
Getting 70% of the Subang Ria park is a good win for residents. What I cannot understand is how people's mathematics can bring them to a conclusion that 70% of 70acres ++ can come to 10 acres.
We learned Mathematics in our schooling years. Perhaps those who learned Ilmu Hisab in their schooling years have a different way of calculating, when making their wild claims.

WIN-WIN is better than NO Park!

kee said...

If the PR government can simply cancel Sime Darby UEP's title to the 72.64 acres of land because this title was issued 'by mistake' by the previous BN government, then there will be dire consequences for non-Malay pendatangs if ever Ibrahim Ali and his ilk takes over the government. Ibrahim Ali and his ilk will then then use the same logic and claim that all land titles previously issued to non-Malay pendatangs were 'mistakes' and mistakes must be corrected. Remember Zimbabwe? He may even go one step further and claim that citizenship was granted to non-Malay pendatangs 'by mistake' and this mistake too must be corrected.

Therefore why don't you people make sensible and logical suggestions instead of indulging in emotion and sentiment. Someone had commented that "the state government is however not compelled to approve Sime Darby UEP's application to change the land usage. It has the right to reject such an application without having to give reasons." Go check and confirm if this is correct. If so, then pressure the PR state government to ensure that the land use is not converted from 'recreational purposes' to other uses such as 'residential'.

One blog visitor who did not agree with another visitor's comments even asked this question: "By the way, do you stay near there ??", implying that non SJ residents views are not welcome. Again going back to Ibrahim Ali and his ilk, that's how they would end an argument when they are losing. They will tell their non-Malay pendatang adversaries that opinions of pendatangs don't count.

ghkok said...

1. I don't agree with bringing Ibrahim Ali into the debate. What has it got to do with him ?

2. There's also an "anonymous" person who can't understand the simple fact that the park includes a lake and the reason why only 10 acres is left for recreation. Just want to point out that the calculations are already clearly shown by AS Gill.

3. There's another "anonymous" person bringing in the subject of GnG, which has nothing to do with the discussion about the lake, wasting everyone's time.

4. I wish to propose one possible solution to the Subang Ria issue (it would be controversial). Since the State has ultimate rights over land (as per Federal Constitution), may the State Assembly pass an Act called the "Taman Subang Ria Issue Resolution Act", which :

a) condemns the unethical, or "mistaken", transfer of ownership to Sime Darby made by the previous BN govt in 1987

b) acknowledges the fact that the Green Lung was the one of the reasons for tens of thousands of people deciding to buy a property and reside in Subang Jaya

c) acknowledges the fact that it is the only available significant-sized Park for the huge population of Subang Jaya and the surrounding areas

d) acknowledges the wish of thousands of residents to keep the Park - as expressed in numerous dialogues and petitions

e) and FINALLY to compel the Land Office to transfer the title of the land back to the State, to be used only for the purpose of public recreation, with fair compensation to Sime Darby (calculated on the basis of the value of the x no. of houses)

How about that ?

Anonymous said...

how about asking Sime Darby to buy back the houses of owners who feel cheated for having bought their houses and are now deprived of a park?
If that's how ghkok feels we can usurp the rights of land owners just at a flick of a pen, then sell your house back to Sime if you feel you have been short-changed.
Dun waste our lawmakers time with your idea of legislation lah....

Anonymous said...

I was just brought to the attention of what's been proposed by another group who want a win-win...

"Representatives from USJ2 & 6 RT, USJ Residents Association, SS15 Neighbourhood Watch together with residents from SS12, SS14, SS15, SS18, USJ2 and even USJ16 collectively asked that the following be complied with by Sime Darby Property (SDP), the owner of Taman Subang Ria before their proposal to develop 16 acres of the 72.6acres for residential units be given the green light:
1. No commercial development;
2. Disallow the construction of roads around the park;
3. SDP to build a separate access to the proposed residential development area;
4. Lower density for the residential development;
5. The proposed recreational park and lake (53.7 acres) to be upgraded , handed over to the State and gazetted before SDP is allowed to develop residential units on the remaining 16 acres;
6. To disallow any commercial development on the 2.9 acres land (currently a private car park) proposed for the future expansion of Sime Darby Medical Centre;
7. An independent traffic and environmental impact study must be carried out;
8. Public hearing to be held to obtain feedback from residents;
9. A joint park management body (comprising representatives from the State Government, Subang Jaya Municipal Council, SDP, residents groups and corporate sector to be set up to maintain the park)."

ghkok said...

After looking at the latest proposal from Sime Darby Property, I'm convinced that it is the best way forward. Residents get an upgraded park, and the status of the park is secured in perpetuity, thus ending the longdrawn saga that has sapped the time and energy of numerous residents over the years. This latest proposal is a victory for the residents ... a victory over the shadowy practises of the past. It is a compromise no doubt, but a compromise for the benefit of residents. There is finality and closure - that's what we all want. I withdraw my earlier suggestion of legislating the return of the park to the state.

Well done, Hannah.