By Nurhafizah Tan dan Thivyamalini Ramalu
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 -- Owners and next-of-kin of Kampung Baru land here must seize the opportunity in the government offer to buy land at the 119-year-old village to prevent its value from depleting further, said a real estate consultant.
Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin. who had over 30 years of experience in the real estate sector, said the RM850 per square foot offer value was apt despite the location of the area in the centre of the city as several factors dampened the value of the land.
He said that, other than being a Malay reserve, the structure and usage of the land also contributed to its lower value which could not be equated to the value of the neighbouring land such as the Petronas Twin Tower which touched RM3,000 a square foot.
‘’The small plots, the dilapidated buildings akin to a squatter area and the influx of foreign nationals renting in Kampung Baru also cause the land value there to be depressed,’’ he said when contacted by Bernama.
The ExaStrata Solutions Sdn Bhd chief executive officer said the physical condition of the 120- hectare village which was full of old buildings also posed a risk of fire simultaneously giving a bad image and shrinking the value of the area.
Owners and heirs must be far sighted about the offer because the value of the real estate in the area could be more lucrative in future.
‘’The development potential is low (under the current condition and time). But the real estate value may go up when the government brings new development and the owners and next-of-kin may get the appropriate price.
‘’But, the price will be stunted forever if they do not take advantage of the opportunity now,’’ he said.
Despite realising the financial constraints faced by the government currently, he hoped the crisis which had struck for so long could be successfully solved with good and orderly planning to secure a win-win situation for both parties.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad on Saturday said the government offered a rate of RM850 per square foot to the owners and next-of-kin for the redevelopment of Kampung Baru and it was the highest rate by the Property Services and Evaluation Department by taking into account the factor of perpetuating the importance of Malay ownership.
Other than the value of the land, Khalid said whatever structure or building on the land of the owners and next-of-kin would also be evaluated for purpose of returns to them.
At the townhall session with Kampung Baru residents, many stepped forward to air numerous issues on the development of the area including the low offer rate, conservation of the Malay village heritage and tax exemption.
There were also those who sought to raise the rate to RM1,000 per square foot from RM850 per square foot, citing that some lots had many next-of-kin and which meant that they would receive small shares from the divisions of the proceeds.
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya (Faculty of Built Environment, Department of Estate Management) senior lecturer associate professor Dr Sr Anuar Alias considered the offer of RM850 per square foot of land as adequate.
The offer was the current market value which was evaluated as the value of empty land, but several matters must be stressed for a win-win situation to exist between the government and the people of Kampung Baru.
‘’The RM850 (value) offered take into account Kampung Baru as a Malay reserve but it should be evaluated not as a Malay reserve if the Land Acquisition Act 1960 mechanism is used.
‘’The value is also equal for all land without taking into account the location in the area,’’ he said.
Commenting further, Anuar said that the owners and next-of-kin must be given the chance to submit their respective land value claims through appointed professional evaluators.
‘’On the basis of concern, maybe the government can bear the professional fees to be fair to owners who can’t afford to pay them ( fees),’’ he added.