King's ransom for a guardhouse
A housing developer is crying foul after being overcharged in three instances by its joint-venture partners Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for a condominium project. The boss of the now defunct developers Mampu Jaya Sdn Bhd, Choy Tai Seng, said the three instances includes being charged:
The gross claim has been reported to the police by Choy's representative on Aug 14.
To get his point across he held a two-and-a-half-hour press conference yesterday to elaborate on the issue and expose what he considers to be DBKL corruption. In 2001, Mampu Jaya entered a joint-venture with DBKL to develop the Gurney Heights Condominium in Bukit Keramat, Setapak, which had been abandoned by DBKL's previous partner Modular Resources Sdn Bhd (MRSB). Mampu Jaya, which held 70 percent shares, completed the project which did not include the guardhouse in question as the DBKL traffic safety department had not approved it. "But last year, DBKL erected the guardhouse all on their own and is now expecting that we pay for it," said Choy, who estimates that the works could not cost more than RM12,000. RM1,200 per square feet? With the RM142,245 price tag, Choy said the simple guardhouse worked out to an incredible RM1,200 per square feet.
On the schematic drawings, Choy said his company had prepared the documents which were to be handed over to Selangor water supplier Syabas, at a cost of RM3,200. Unknown to Mampu Jaya, DBKL had submitted its own drawings to Syabas. This was only uncovered when liquidators were looking into Mampu Jaya's account's earlier this year. On the two sets of lift generators, Choy said DBKL were charging them for two units which were more than 10 years old - fitted before Mampu Jaya entered into the joint venture.
New units would only cost RM200,000 each. According to Choy, DBKL's claims were a means of silencing Mampu Jaya from exposing more irregularities involving the Gurney Heights Condominium project. He said many of these issues have been brought up in a civil suit which he filed two years ago, seeking RM150 million in damages. Confiscated in botched raid, but items still gone An example of persecution by DBKL, Choy said, was when its enforcement officers raided one of the five condominium blocks last year on the pretext that it was an illegal hotel being operated there. Subsequently, they were charged with the offence at the DBKL Magistrate's Court last year. "That block was supposed to be a service apartment, but a licence has not been given.
"They came in 16 lorries and raided nine units without a warrant." "They took the furniture, television sets, bed, fridge and washing machine from each unit, but since they lost the case (on May 11 this year) they have yet to return the items," said Choy. He estimates total losses to be between RM2 million to RM3 million.