2:00PM May 15, 2015
PAS research centre director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (photo) pointed out that prior to 1MDB’s ownership, the TRX land was held by Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB), formerly known as Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Berhad
“The land was granted to PHB (land development right) during former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time with the intention to develop the land and for the bumiputera community to have the opportunity to own prime real estate through shares that PHB would issue (ie REIT) ,” he said.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in a blog posting on May 8, had mentioned that the land was initially meant for a “bumiputera trade centre” but did not elaborate.
“Why and who instructed and made certain that PHB’s trophy asset is sold to 1MDB?” asked Dzulkefly.
PHB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, a foundation created under Abdullah and owned by the government.
Dzulkefly pointed out that the widely reported RM194.11 million paid by 1MDB for the land also did not entirely go to the government as some of the cost was used to clear a caveat on the land.
1MDB had purchased the entire 70 acres from the government-owned entity for a mere RM194.1 million.
It recently began selling off the land in parcels, which included the sale of 1.56 acre to Lembaga Tabung Haji for RM188.5 million.
This translates to a purchase of RM2,773 per square foot by Tabung Haji, compared to 1MDB which bought the land for only RM64 per square foot from the government.