I sent this letter to The Sun (Nades and Terence) and had expected it to be published. They chose not to do so. Therefore I decide to express myself in my own blog
I am a blogger and I write at rights2write.wordpress.com. I follow Citizen Nades and Terrence in many of their writing and of late I find that the quality of their write up has degraded significantly over the last few years. Being linked on tweeters it also gave me the privilege of what Nades and Terrence tweet regularly. Being a blogger, I practice a certain self determined ethics when I write and it is my believed that journalist has a higher level of ethical standard to follow than bloggers. Unfortunately their writing of late has been no better than those punch-line blogs that spun issues repeatedly on the online sites.
Sometime back I had debunked an article written by FMT with regards to the Azmin involvement of a land swap deal in the PJ Sentral development. I had gone beyond the normalcy of being a blogger and did a detailed researched on the subject matter. Not only I had proven with facts that Azmin was not involved and I had shown that the deal was above board. Fair transaction was in place. Last week I saw a similar article written by Terrence and Meena in a similar fashion under the headingQuestions over land swap in Selangor and another article written by Nades under the
heading Its land swapping time again
In my view it is half baked, poorly researched article and written in a particular tangent. It was written with one purpose and one purpose only. It is meant to smear peoples image and to sell newspapers while taking cheap potshots at the beneficiaries. I am in agreement that the previous SSG is u! nprofess ional in a certain extent and should be made liable for going into deals that is not favoring the state. In doing so, we need to establish the basis in coming to a conclusion that it was an unfair deal. However when things are done above board and the deal is done on dollar to dollar basis, why portray it otherwise.
Allow me to share some of my own research related to the case of the Petaling Land Office relocation from SJ to Subang Bistari. The deal was done above board. The SG under Khir Toyo was indeed foolish to part off with such a prime real estate. But then being a government one need to look at the fact that they own many thousand acreage of land in the whole state and the question of land value is relative to ones need. The SSG may notneed the land in SJ as they have many other lands elsewhere.
The facts surrounding this case is thatthe Petaling Land Office in Jalan Kemajuan SS 16/1 was valued at RM 24.6 mill in 2005 by the government valuation department and the beneficiary of this land is supposed to built a building on an 11 acre site worth the same amount in Subang Bistari. The deal is on the basis of a dollar to dollar arrangement where the beneficiary is to come out with the capital to build the new building before they can take possession of the existing site. The building was eventually completed at a cost of RM36 mill in 2009. The cost escalated in view of soil rehabilitation and changes in design and making it compliance with energy efficient building standards. The additional cost was borne by the builders and was not pass over to the government. The builders were not able to recoup the differences as there was no provision for such difference to be paid by the SSG in their agreement.
Fact remains that at the time when the deal was strike, the land was valued at the circa of RM115 psf and today it is worth 3 times more. For that matter every single property in SJ has gone up. Some has gone up mor! e than 5 X. Even my favorite bread cost a lot more today. The lady luck was definitely on their side as capital gain has made their original investment of RM36mill to grow. Anything could have happened between 2005 and 2011. The market could have gone south and their property value could have stagnated. If materials cost has gone up, they would have incurred higher cost in construction of the new complex.
As a company that is involved in such deals we must appreciate that they bear the funding cost, acquisition cost, construction cost and risk of escalation of construction materials. One has to borrow money to build the new place for the land office. That comes with a cost. If one were to address this issues from a holistic financial perspective, I say it is a fairly decent deal inked at that point of time. Whether it was a wise decision at that point of time, it is a matter that Khir Toyo needs to answer. It is not something the builders need to address. Khir was the MB back then and he had to justify his actions. If there are prove that he acted against the best interest of the state then he must be made accountable. Smearing the builders in the papers and on tweeters reflects poorly on the two authors.
Sometime early this year Lee Kuan Yew, the modern father of Singapore said; The papers are only brave when the readers cannot respond back. In todays world the situation is much different. People dont have to go to court to get justice. The media is no longer the domain of a select few. Anyone today can write. The only difference is quality. Respectfully what you have written reflects poorly of your standing as a reporter. My brief write up shows that I have a better reporting skills than you do in presenting a proper facts.
Trust you should make the necessary apologies to all parties that had been defamed.