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Eagle eyes on govt prime land







Property companies will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on the government's prime land in the Klang Valley as details are being finalised by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

EPU director-general Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob told Business Times in a telephone interview that the criteria on land development had been set out and made known to the government.

"We are finalising the details and approaches. The final plan will be submitted soon to the government for approval before it is revealed," he said, declining to elaborate further.

On November 4, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that companies will be allowed to develop government land under an open tender system.

It is part of the government's plan to raise funds and boost a slowing economy.

Most developers contacted by Business Times were especially keen on the 1,600ha owned by the Rubber Research Institute Malaysia (RRIM) in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, next to the thriving Kota Damansara.

Other possible areas for development include land in Jalan Cochrane and Jalan Ampang Hilir.

YTL Land & Development Bhd executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian said the move will boost the Malaysian property scene.

"We are supportive of the government's regulations and initiatives, specifically those that promote transparency and healthy competition," he told Business Times.

Mah Sing Group Bhd is eyeing the land in Sungai Buloh as it will complement its Perdana series of mixed development, its group managing director and group chief executive Datuk Leong Hoy Kum said.

Leong said it may buy 120ha to 200ha, as it has for all its Perdana townships.

"Acquiring that size will allow us to plan a good mix of products with extensive landscaping to add value to the land.

"We will be ready to tender for the land when the government calls for it," he said.

Bandar Raya Development Bhd (BRDB) is also interested in the land.

Chief executive officer Datuk Jagan Sabapathy said BRDB has always been in talks with the government for land parcels.

Meanwhile, PJ Development Holdings Bhd managing director Wong Ah Chiew said it will look at the viability of the whole proposal before making a move.

"The land in Sungai Buloh may be part of the land that we will acquire at this time. We will look at the pricing, location and development concept. We will acquire as many acres, and not limit ourselves," he said.



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