The Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) has urged Najib Razak to “get real” over an allegation the Barisan Nasional (BN) short-changed and forced the MRB to sell land at an undervalued price of RM1.5 billion.
“Do not try to confuse the issue. You only have one question to answer – explain where and what happened to the RM800 million shortfall,” MRB chairman SN Nair said in a statement last night.
Nair was referring to the former premier’s jibe at Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok who had accused the former Najib-led administration of approving the sale.
“You have to distinguish the wood for the trees and there is no point pussyfooting on whether the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is building cheap houses; that is not the point.
“The matter at hand is clear and straightforward. Just explain to the rakyat, as the former prime minister, as to what happened to the RM800 million shortfall. That is all. Simple as that,” Nair said.
Kok had earlier accused BN of approving and instructing that the land located in Sungai Buloh, known as Lot 481, be sold to a special purpose vehicle, Aset Tanah Negara Bhd (ATNB), in 2010.
She said 2,800 acres of land was subsequently bought by Kwasa Land, a wholly-owned company under the EPF, for a consideration of about RM2.28 billion, leading to an RM800 million shortfall to the MRB.
Both MRB and ATNB are government-owned entities.
Later, Najib, taking to Facebook, said Kok had accused BN of “forcing the government to sell government land to the government” and, after that, giving EPF the opportunity “to rake in billions in profit for EPF contributors”.
“The BN government then must have been so despicable in taking care of their cronies – the EPF contributors.
“The government must have been so cruel to carry out development projects, as announced under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he said, referring to the Kwasa Damansara development in Subang, which was part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development Project announced under the plan.
Najib also defended the sale of the land, which was equivalent to the price of RM18.70 per sq ft.
He said Kwasa Land had already begun building a new township, including housing for 150,000 people, at a gross development value of at least RM50 billion.
In another post, Najib said Kok should try and “claim” the RM780 million from Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng as the Ministry of Finance Inc held direct majority shareholding in ATNB. – FMT
Earlier report: Jan 3, Teresa Kok: Rubber Board Under BN Sold Land with RM800M Shortfall