GEORGE TOWN, Nov 23 ― All lands owned by UDA Holdings Bhd should be converted into “wakaf” or reserve land to make sure they fully benefit only Bumiputera and Muslims, said Penang Malay Association (Pemenang) president Tan Sri Yussof Latiff.
He said UDA Holdings had bought up lands at a minimal price as the lands were supposedly meant to benefit the Bumputera but in the end, the lands were developed for other purposes that do not benefit the Bumiputera community at all.
He used the Tanjong Tokong land as an example which he claimed UDA Holdings had paid a nominal sum of RM1 for a 99 lease on 48 acres of the traditional Malay kampung land back in the early 1960s.
“UDA Holdings were supposed to develop the land for the Malay community but till today, the village there is in disarray and in poor conditions,” he said in a press conference at Pemenang headquarters here.
He said UDA Holdings’ main responsibility was to develop lands to benefit the Bumiputera community but it had diverted from its main responsibility.
“This is proven in the two mega projects by UDA in Penang such as the Tanjong Tokong redevelopment project and the Pulau Jerejak project,” he said.
He claimed UDA had joint-ventured with non-Bumiputera companies to develop high-rise buildings and mixed-development projects that are mostly bought and owned by non-Bumiputera.
He said he had met with UDA regarding this issue and UDA claimed that it was “forced” to join ventures with state government-friendly developers for some of its projects.
“That is what they claimed when I met with them, we don’t know how true this is,” he said.
Yussof, who is also Penang Malay Heritage Trust Organisation president, said UDA has been able to obtain lands at nominal sums in the name of development for the Malay community and yet they have formed joint-ventures with non-Bumiputera companies to develop projects that are not meant for the Bumiputera.
“In this case, the only way to stop this from happening, all lands owned by UDA Holdings should be classified as wakaf land to make sure these lands will only benefit the Muslim and Bumiputera communities,” he said.
He said UDA Holdings can choose to join ventures with Bumiputera-owned companies to develop its mega projects.
He said he did not want these lands which rightfully belonged to the Bumiputera and Malay community be lost to non-Bumiputera.
“We can foresee that in another 10 years, the whole Tanjong Tokong area will become a busy metropolitan city with high rise buildings but the original Malays in the area will be left behind,” he said.
He claimed that UDA, together with E&O Holdings Bhd had completely changed the traditional structure of Tanjong Tokong from a Malay area.
“This area is meant to be a Malay area but the new high rise developments along the reclaimed land on the coast are mostly owned by non-Bumiputera,” he said.
“These are reclaimed land that belonged to UDA but it has become a site for non-Bumiputera while the original settlement there was shifted to low cost flats,” he added.
He pointed out that many others were placed in transit homes for over 20 years.
Yussof said he will be sending his proposal to convert all lands belonging to UDA to wakaf land to the Prime Minister by the end of this week.
“I hope the federal government will seriously consider this proposal to protect the rights of the Malays,” he said.