Najib: External audit firm appointed to probe KL Vertical City project

 |Jan 5, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: An external audit firm has been appointed to conduct a forensic audit on the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City project being developed on land belonging to the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The Prime Minister said the firm, appointed by the Prime Minister’s Department, would audit all activities, decisions and actions relating to the project.

“It will also re-evaluate the relevant regulatory processes, including weaknesses in the internal administration as well as Felda’s supervision of Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC).

“Its investigation will also encompass the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Land and Mines Office and Kuala Lumpur City Hall,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The project is being developed by Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd (SPSB).

It was reported on Dec 21 that Felda was at risk of losing ownership of a strategic piece of land in Jalan Semarak here, estimated to be worth RM200mil, when it was believed to have been transferred through a “dubious deal” in 2015.

The land transfer was believed to have occurred when FIC appointed a local company as the primary developer on June 3, 2014, and it was given full power of attorney to develop the land.

In his statement, Najib said the audit firm’s investigation is expected to be completed within 30 days, with a full report to be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Department.

He said the firm’s appointment was made following his directive to Felda in a letter dated Dec 11 to determine whether there was non-compliance with existing procedures or elements of abuse of power and corruption pertaining to the project.

“In the letter sent by the Prime Minister’s Department to Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, I also directed Felda to lodge a police report against SPSB for criminal fraud and take legal action for civil fraud for the transfer of Felda property rights without knowledge and permission,” he said.

He added that the directive was issued to safeguard the interests of Felda and its settlers as well as to ensure that the land remained with Felda.

Najib said the police had also conducted an investigation and a caveat had been placed on the land in question.

“As such, reports saying that the land has been lost are incorrect. The caveat on the land will ensure that Felda’s interests are safeguarded,” he said.

Najib said legal action would be taken if investigations by the audit firm and police indicated wrongdoing by those involved in the project, which was agreed upon in 2014. — Bernama