Though he is thick skinned and combative, FT Minister, Khalid Samad must privately felt embarassed by Dato Najib's trolling and his inability to troll back despite repetitive attempts. Blogger Husin Lempoyang attributed it to his lack of wit and position as Minister.
Nevertheless, Khalid is still better in gaining public attention than Teresa Kok. Her attempt to create an issue out of the Sungai Buloh Kwasa Land failed. She got Sankara Nair to do pussy-footing and her own bushing of Najib but the attempted 1MDB spin was shadowed by WSJ report of a China bailout that could likely be orchestrated by her party comrade.
Khalid could get the publicity from the massive probe into 74 projects approved in the past by DBKL. He gave a "garang" and no nonsence warning to errant premises owners failing to pay assessment tax.
Hope Khalid is able to do so and prove he is a better FT Minister than elder brother, BN's Tan Sri Shahrir Samad. New broom sweep well and he could bag something out of the probe. It is not so much the revelation that the controversial Medan Imbi property raised by DAP since March 2017 is allegedly built illegally on FT Land and Mines Office land,
But, it is about the identity of the mystery owner, which turned out to be fallen Heavenly King, Datok Koo Tee Yam.
The Edge had the story last week:
Medan Imbi building owner identifiedKoo Tee Yam
Chester Tay/The Edge Financial Daily
January 18, 2019 09:03 am +08
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 18, 2019.
KUALA LUMPUR: The owner of the controversial building built on two plots of government land in Medan Imbi, Bukit Bintang here has been identified as Willowcrest Management Sdn Bhd, a company linked to businessman Datuk Seri Tee Yam @ Koo Tee Yam.
A search on the Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM) website showed that Willowcrest is 99%-owned by Tee Yam, while the remaining 1% is held by Eco Habitat Sdn Bhd.
The shareholders of Eco Habitat are Tee Yam (90%), with Wong Siaw Puie and Ameera Encee Koo Abdullah owning 5% each.
On Wednesday, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad questioned how a development order had been issued to two properties — one an office building “which looks like a six-star hotel” and the other a restaurant — in Medan Imbi when the land did not belong to either the company or Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
This follows an internal investigation by the integrity unit of DBKL, which revealed that both pieces of land measuring 0.14ha on Lot 568 and Lot 716 belonged to the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office.
The minister was also reported as saying that the owner of the two properties has until the end of the month to come forward.
Khalid had said an option available to the owner is to apply to the government to purchase the land at the current market price and to pay all premiums and development approvals, as well as the fines to be imposed.
An industry observer, however, pointed out that this may set a bad precedent in the future for any company to build properties on government land and just pay a premium and fines.
An Oct 5, 2015 report by The Edge Malaysia weekly, citing a valuer, said that typically land in Imbi are priced between RM2,400 and RM2,500 per sq ft.
In previous years, land transactions in the Bukit Bintang and Kuala Lumpur City Centre areas have been concluded at between RM3,100 and RM3,600 per sq ft. For instance, the German Embassy parcel in Kia Peng was sold for RM3,188 per sq ft (RM259.15 million for 7,552 sq m) to Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd; Tropicana Corp Bhd disposed of eight contiguous parcels in Jalan Bukit Bintang for RM3,280 per sq ft (RM448.44 million for 12,701.7 sq m); Oxley Holdings Ltd bought a parcel in Jalan Ampang for RM3,300 per sq ft (RM446.7 million for 12,575 sq m); and KSK Group Bhd paid RM3,573 per sq ft for a plot in Jalan Conlay (RM568 million for 3.65 [1.48ha] acres).
A visit to the site by The Edge Financial Daily yesterday showed that the office building has six levels, with Willowcrest listed as one of its tenants.
Other tenants include Excellent Epitome Sdn Bhd and Orion Tower Sdn Bhd.
Another property development company linked to Tee Yam is Viva Impian Sdn Bhd, which is developing a mixed-use, integrated development called Viva Impian Cheras. SSM’s data revealed that Viva Impian is 99%-owned by Tee Yam and the rest by Eco Habitat.
According to The Edge Malaysia weekly report on April 10, 2017, Eco Habitat is one of the shareholders of Gabungan Tiasa Sdn Bhd with a 33.33% stake. Gabungan Tiasa is involved in the redevelopment of Plaza Rakyat in Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.
Koo Tee Yam made headline when he was arrested under the Emergency Ordinance in March 2004 and received unconditional release in March 2005.
In between, he obtained Habeas Copus order from Federal Court for release on October 19, 2004 but refused to leave anticipating he will be re-arrested. He did emerge from the Simpang Renggam Detention Centre on October 29th 2004 to be bundled off by police and was subsequently released few days later.
The October 2005 The Star feature on Tee Yam fell short of calling him as leader of the Four Heavenly King underworld bosses. He was described as "controversial businessman", investor in entertainment and restaurants, "adviser" to Chinese guilds, "philantropist", and "powerful and influential figure".
As recently as October 2018, Twitter Finance reported Tee Yam was seen in the same table as Anwar Ibrahim at a dinner fund raising for the PD by-election.
Character like Tee Yam is influential to the Chinese community, more so in areas like the Jalan Imbi in the Bukit Bintang area.
Politically, it is an open secret that one of the key factor to win elections for Chinese parties including DAP is to get the blessing and support of underworld bosses. Lim Guan Eng should not attempt to deny.
DAP vs underworld?
DAP could be driven by the community concerns on encroachment on local interested parties or disturbed a planned signature park for Imbi.
It is an understatement to say the area is now much sought after by developers.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall Councillor Chairman and Malaysian Special Envoy to China, DAP Tan Kok Wai demanded Khalid to not give in and sell the land to the building owner. His likely intention is to see law enforced. Is DAP serious to take on Tee Yam and the Chinese underworld?
Whether there is legitimate reason and prior agreement between Tee Yam and the previous FT Minister, Tengku Datok Adnan Mansor to allow the building on government land or not, Khalid went on to call on the building owner to buy the land or lose it.
Will the words of a DAP Councillor or AMANAH FT Minister carry more weight?
Khalid also gave a month-end deadline to decide or risk MACC moving in to investigate. He must continue to remain "garang" to the underworld boss or get trolled again by cousin Najib.