THE following is my second press statement on the matter of improper ownership of low-cost flat units. My first press statement dated 24 Feb 2010 revealed that I had found several senior Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) staff owning low-cost apartment units. This was despite them drawing a salary of more than RM2,500 at the time of purchase, making them ineligible.
In that statement, I also said that I had formally requested the Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) to investigate the matter. I have received no official word that Selcat would pursue the matter since then.
MBPJ Major Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman had also assured the media after the March 2010 full board meeting that the matter would be investigated by the MBPJ disciplinary committee. However, the matter has not been tabled to date either.
Then on 28 Apr, I received an anonymous letter alleging there are more than 500 MBPJ staff who own a low-cost flat unit. The allegation was that they were all not eligible to purchase these houses, as their household income was above RM2,500.
The letter further alleged that the information on these MBPJ staff could be traced using the following methods:
• A search through the assessment tax records for details of property owners available from the MBPJ valuation department.
• A search through the records of individual certificates of fitness issued out to each low-cost flat unit purchaser by the MBPJ building department.
• A search through the records of a named bank that provided most of the loans for low-cost flat unit purchases.
As proof, the anonymous writer provided a copy of a bank loan statement for a low-cost unit. The copy of the loan allegedly bore the names of persons who were related to a senior MBPJ officer.
As a result of the allegation, I wrote a request to the mayor on 29 Apr to conduct an investigation to ascertain the relationship of these persons to the senior officer.
I requested, in the same letter, that an audit of all low-cost housing ownership be done using the prescribed method in the letter to trace these alleged 500 MBPJ staff. I also requested that the results of the audit be forwarded to the Selcat for further investigation and action.
The request was copied to all MBPJ local councillors, the MBPJ secretary Puasa Md Taib, Selangor Executive Councillor (Exco) Ronnie Liu, Selcat chairperson Teng Chang Khim, Selcat deputy chairperson Haniza Binti Mohamed Talha and Selcat committee member Edward Lee.
I have in the past received complaints from former squatter village residents who were promised a chance to purchase a low-cost unit. They claimed they had never received the offer once the construction of the low-cost flat was completed. These former squatter residents have shown me proof that they were interviewed and promised alternative accommodation. All this happened prior to them waiting for the demolition of their village to make way for development and subsequent relocation to the completed flat in their former locale.
The plight of these former squatter residents may be related to the purchase of low-cost flat units by these allegedly unqualified MBPJ staff, thereby depriving legitimate qualifiers from getting their homes. This is the reason I am requesting for an audit and for thorough investigations to be done.
I hereby attach a section of the low-cost unit application form that states the criteria for purchase of low-cost units set by the Selangor government. The same criteria are also listed on the Selangor Economic Development Corporation website.
MBPJ local councillor
13 May 2010