Sungai Buloh land deal done in professional manner, says EPF

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 4): The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said the purchase of the Sungai Buloh land from the government was conducted in a professional manner.

In a statement Jan 3, the EPF said it had via its wholly-owned subsidiary Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd purchased the 2,330-acre land from Aset Tanah Nasional Berhad (ATNB), a 100% owned SPV by the Ministry of Finance in 2012.

“The transaction was done at an arm’s length basis for the development of Kwasa Damansara, a township with a mix of residential and commercial properties, infrastructure and public amenities,” it said.

To recap, it was reported earlier yesterday that the Malaysian Rubber Board (LGM) was short-changed by at least RM780 million for partial land sale in Sungai Buloh to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the Ministry of Finance (MoF) back in 2010.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok yesterday had said LGM also incurred losses of RM70 million after paying for an incomplete development in a separate portion of the same land — Lot 481 in Sungai Buloh — which was awarded in 2013 and terminated months before the 14th General Election.

The EPF said it follows a strict framework in all of its investments which requires it to conduct robust due diligence prior to any transaction.

The 2,800 acres sold to the SPV, Aset Tanah Nasional Bhd (ATNB), was part of 3,385 acres within Lot 481, said Kok. It was sold by LGM to ATNB for RM1.5 billion via direct sale under the instruction of the Cabinet at the time, she added.

Kok however said it had now come to the knowledge of LGM that thereafter [in 2011], the said 2,800 acres of land was subsequently bought by Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd for sale consideration of about RM2.28 billion.

The EPF in its statement said the RM2.28 billion purchase price was reflective of the fair market value of the land, given its prime location between Kota Damansara and Sungai Buloh.

“The EPF has no knowledge of any subsequent arrangements between the Malaysian Rubber Board and ATNB as raised by Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok in the news,” it said.