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E-Community… and its story

"Return our assets and monies," Subang Jaya ratepayers tell MPPJ

Over the last ten years, 2 Menteris Besar, 2 municipal presidents and several councillors have since retired. Can those who survived politically, help recover from MPPJ million ringgit's worth of assets and monies rightfully owned by our ratepayers?
Posted on 12.15am Jan 28, 2001

LOOK BEYOND... While the debate on the suitability of the new site at Taipan USJ ensued, it's urgent that Lee help Fuad recover ratepayers' dues now in MPPJ's custody. - SPECIAL REPORT -

By The usjXpress Team
Email: edteam@usj.com.my



SUBANG JAYA - Controversies surrounding the Subang Jaya wet market are like a long-run TV soap opera.

It stretched for over 10 years, with plots full of twists and turns involving two municipal councils, namely Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) and Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

There were many players who came and went. Two Menteris Besar, two municipal presidents and several councillors have since retired.

The surviving ones - notably Subang Jaya state assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng among those who have served through the transition as both MPPJ and MPSJ councillors - are not providing many clues either.

Many ratepayers, new settlers and those with short memories, are wondering what really was happening as public debate now centres on the suitability of location.

However, one factor that raises eyebrows is that the wet market project involved mega-bucks. The budget was increased from RM2 million in 1993, to RM8.5 million in 1996, and finally RM15 million in 2000.

Annoyingly, as the plot thickens, some numbers don't tally.

The usjXpress Team dug into ten years of news archive at a media portal and discovered many questions that require good answers:

When will MPPJ, the former administrator of the municipality, return the properties and budget allocation amounting to millions and righfully owned by the Subang Jaya ratepayers?

Many Subang Jaya ratepayers, some have been residents since the 1980's, told The usjXpress Team that they want MPSJ to recover the money fast before it gets buried with the passage of time.

SYNOPSIS

On record, MPPJ had undertaken to build the wet market at a cost of RM8.5 million even after it had handed over Subang Jaya to MPSJ effective January 1997.

MPPJ made the undertaking due to the fact that, prior to 1997, the original wet market at SS15/4 was demolished to make way for Subang Square, a RM80 million privatised project jointly developed by MPPJ and Muhibbah Permai Sdn Bhd.

Under the privatisation project, MPPJ gets to keep several properties at Subang Square, now believed to be worth millions of ringgit.

However, the replacement wet market earmarked at SS15/8 was never built by MPPJ.

The budget allocation - reduced from RM8.5 million to the last quote of RM3.5 million - was also not handed over to MPSJ after it came into being in January 1997.

Reality check: MPPJ not only owns precious properties in SS15 commercial centre, it is still keeping the multi-million ringgit allocation for the wet market in its coffers.

Rightfully, the properties and the budget allocation should belong to the Subang Jaya ratepayers.

So far, MPSJ's efforts in recovering the ratepayers' properties and monies have not been successful.

RE-DEVELOPMENT

In essence, it dates back to early 1990's when the original wet market in SS15 had to make way for the Subang Square privatisation project.

The search for an alternative site flip-flopped from SS15 to SS19/6 and back to SS15/8.

Within a three-year period from 1993 to 1996, the cost escalated from RM2 million to RM8.5 million.

The wet market would have been built if not for the creation of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) in 1997.

MPPJ undertook to complete the construction of the SS15/8 wet market in the post-1997 period.

However, MPSJ president Ahmad Fuad Ismail decided to freeze the wet market project as he was reported to be in favour of modern, sophisticated dry markets.

Subsequently, Ahmad Fuad's proposal was met with objections by the wet market traders, and it died a silent death.

'SILENT WAR"

Then, a "silent war" between MPPJ and MPSJ ensued.

MPPJ insisted that MPSJ should adhere to "required procedures", while and the latter complained that the former did not deliver the promised funds.

The squabbles escalated to arbitration at the level of the former Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Abu Hassan Omar.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Fuad was bent on shifting the wet market to SS19, a site aborted by MPPJ as early as 1994.

The public outcry has prompted the intervention by Datuk Dr Mohammad Khir Toyo, the new Selangor Menteri Besar noted for his "mesra rakyat" campaign.

Meanwhile, two Menteris Besar (Datuk Mohamad Mohamad Taib and Datuk Seri Abu Hassan Omar) and two MPPJ presidents (Iskandar Astar and Datuk Mohammad Nor Bador) have since retired, but the Subang Jaya wet market is still in a limbo.

Bottom line, MPPJ may still have the last laugh as it gets to own a few properties out of the Subang Square project, and still keeps the financial allocation it promised to release to MPSJ.



10-year news archives reveal intrigues on Subang Jaya wet market

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