BN Reportedly Transferred A 4.5-Hectare Land For The RTS Project To Johor Sultan For RM0
A tract of land in Bukit Chagar meant for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) from Johor Bahru to Singapore is reportedly "in the name" of Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, reported Malaysiakini.
The land was supposed to be owned by the Federal government.
According to Malaysiakini's report, the 4.5-hectare land in Bukit Chagar was transferred to the Johor ruler on 19 November 2017 under Barisan Nasional administration.
The Johor ruler paid RM0 in quit rent, Malaysiakini reported citing a land search.
The news portal reported that while the Johor government was supposed to transfer the land in Bukit Chagar to the Federal Land Commissioner in 2010, the said transfer never happened and the land eventually ended up in the hands of the Johor ruler.
This transfer of Bukit Chagar land was in exchange for federal land in Tanjung Puteri for the construction of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.
Now, in order for the current Federal Government to acquire the land which it was supposed to own, Putrajaya would have to fork out around RM495 million in compensation to the Johor Sultan
Following media reports that the 4.5-hectare piece of land in Bukit Chagar for the RTS project was transferred to the Sultan of Johor during the reign of the Barisan Nasional government, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir was quoted during a press conference, saying that the government will demand the land if a transfer really did take place.
"We will demand the (return of) the land. If there was a transfer by any parties, they must go through the due process. We have not received the full report, just rumours from the press that the land was taken by the Sultan of Johor," said Tun Dr Mahathir.
Tun Dr Mahathir, however, said that they will buy back the plot of land from the Johor Sultan only if he had paid for it, otherwise, there is no need to buy it back as it belongs to the Government
If he has paid, of course, we have to buy back. But if he hasn't paid, we won't buy back, it is our land.
"We require that land for the purpose of building necessary buildings.
"I don't think his royal highness would have just seized the land. We will have to file claims for the land," Tun Dr Mahathir said while pointing out that the RTS will not be able to solve the traffic congestion between Johor Baru and Singapore.
The RTS project is presently stalled due to the land issue
According to reports, Putrajaya has until September 2019 before going back to Singapore on how it wishes to proceed with the project, which is also a bilateral issue.
Currently, the disputed land is being used as a public parking lot.