Saturday, 12 March 2011

EPF- "Ini bukan duit bapak hang!"

"You EPF, you who take in our money —
you go and find people to build homes which are affordable.
You have the moral duty to so. It’s our bloody money.
Ini bukan duit bapak hang!
- Datuk Sak


EPF should build affordable homes in Sungai Buloh

— Sakmongkol AK47

March 12, 2011

MARCH 12 — Here is the problem we have with EPF. Sometime ago, EPF who was given rights to develop the RRIM land in Sungai Buloh, handed it over to MRCB to manage. Or places it under custody of MRCB. It’s the left pocket transferring to the right pocket. This is a 3000 acre prime land located just outside Kuala Lumpur but will later form a portion within the Greater Kuala Lumpur.

What was MRCB’s Plans? The plan was for MRCB to either sell off the land or enters a JV with IJM. The CEO to be appointed was Mohd Lotfy Mohd Noh who was a director of MRCB. He is now, the CEO of Kwasa Land, a fully owned subsidiary of EPF.

The deal didn’t go through. Perhaps the terms of the JV or form of cooperation were not acceptable by IJM. Maybe some people were asking too much.

But MRCB can’t do it on its own? Whereas it boasts itself a “property development and investment company. The Group is one of the largest developers of residential, commercial and industrial properties in Malaysia. Our long-standing policy is to elevate quality and innovations in lieu with market needs, as well as bringing quality living to all customers.

It cannot develop the RRIM land that will yield new investments of RM 5 billion, yet it’s teaming up with Ekovest to become PDP for the River of Life Project. That’s RM 17 billion and you bet, it will be more. But it can’t do a project that will bring in RM 5 billion.

The development is expected to feature breathtaking landscape parks, green lungs, open spaces, walkways and water bodies,” one party familiar with the plans said. “The township will also incorporate full information technology and data infrastructure (MSC City Status) and complete urban transportation integration.”

You see these people up there — they are just paper tigers. They can’t do on their own. They talk big about building up Iskandar, and other land portfolio. In reality they are just doing things like any other RM 2 paid up capital Bumiputera developers are doing. Parner with a PDP. You have the resource given by the government. All you need to do is market it. Make deals. Then we don’t need people with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. We need Gordon Gekko characters. Hell — the CEO at PASDEC Corp in Kuantan can do that.

So if MRCB which gloats itself as a first class property developer subcontracts the development of their property to contractors, what’s the difference between them and the ordinary Bumiputera resource owner? You are just a rent seeker as they who you despised.

I would like the PM to give assurance to whistle blowers out there, in pursuit of their civic duty and moved by public spirited values to be protected by law. In this way, whistle blowers will come out to bare all the shenanigans and corporate legerdemains carried out by corporate chieftains in our GLCs. The MACC should go investigate all deals done by heads of our GLCs. Start with Khazanah, TNB, PETRONAS, Maybank, MRCB, etc etc. investigate the whole lot!

Back to MRCB. When the deal didn’t go through, what to do with the land? EPF and MRCB do not have any Project Delivery Partner. If not, IJM Corporation would have been proudly announced as the PDP of the Sungai Buloh RRIM Land. Wow.

Ok, the bosses at EPF say — bring back the land to EPF portfolio. IJM doesn’t want we can find other ways. You Lotfy, come and head our Kwasa Land. You parcel the land into smaller sizes and partner up with selected PDPs. Damn — maybe we can milk more babe! So you have it — EPF forms a wholly owned subsidiary to manage the development of the RRIM land. Its CEO is Moh Lotfy MOhd Noh the underling assigned and receiving instructions from Shahril Redzuan of EPF who wants to become chairman of EPF — if Nor Mohamad Yakob is in time to appoint.

But here is a bigger issue. EPF takes in deposits from workers and employees. There are presently around 11 million depositors or pencarum. 10 million or so earn salaries below or up to RM 3000 pcm. These are the ones targeted by the PM to own their first homes though 100 per cent financing. I have written this as a step to relieve pressure in the property loan industry. It’s a measure to prevent a subprime crisis by using loans to first house owners as a cushion when the big loan defaulters come crushing down. Yes those who financed purchases of 2nd, 3rd or even their Nth homes. These are the potential subprime borrowers.

So why doesn’t EPF come out in full support of the PM? It gets its money from employees most of whom fall under the category of RM 3000 and below income earners. Why doesn’t it go into home construction? Make homes that are affordable to the majority of the depositors. Leave the building of super homes whose ‘super’ element is the astronomical price to private developers. The private developers, if they want to build castles in the air, who cares.

You EPF, you who take in our money — you go and find people to build homes which are affordable. You have the moral duty to so. It’s our bloody money. Ini bukan duit bapak hang!

You ask your people to go learn how the Singapore government carries out housing scheme under the HDB. Or if you are paranoid and xenophobic about learning anything from that little red dot, go learn from Greater London Council on how they go about doing their council homes. You like it don’t you- eating fish and chips from that Times newspaper. Or is it Page 3 of the Sun?

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz.

He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

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