Ruckus surrounding the Selangor state government’s right to meddle in the Kampung Baru redevelopment affair was snubbed by Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, who says the state is obliged to help the villagers.
“Doesn’t matter whether I have the power or not, the only reason why I come was because there were requests,” he told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting on Wednesday.
He said that Kampung Baru was part of Selangor and therefore, the state has “a little more than the moral responsibility to make sure Kampung Baru villagers get the best”.
The issue came into light after The Malaysia Insider reported that the top leadership of the Malay Agriculture Settlement (MAS) board, the administrative body of Kampung Baru, will be reshuffled as it was deemed not efficient in protecting the last Malay traditional enclave in Kuala Lumpur.
Kampung Baru Development Secretariat chairman Ahmad Zambri As’ad Khuzami then claimed that the power to reshuffle the body lies in the hand of Selangor MB, as enshrined in the Malay Agriculture Settlement Land Enactment 1887.
He said Khalid is empowered to appoint four MAS members, while the remaining seven will be elected by the villagers.
He added that state government is the only party that is entitled to amend MAS-related enactments.
MAS board secretary Shamsuri Suradi, on the other hand, said the reshuffles is solely up to its own wish and claimed that the state government does not have a veto power in the appointment.
Khalid, when responding to the ruckus, said the land enactment should not function as a silence critique.
“It was stipulated to make sure people who own the land will have a say,” he said.
He added that the MB’s office, Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) and Selangor Foundation have been entrusted to form an action committee to protect the villagers’ interest.
On a separate issue, he welcomed the Court of Appeal’s declaration on Section 15 (5)(a) of University and University College Act 1971 as unconstitutional.
He also welcomed the call to abolish the law, which bars university students from being involved in politics.
“But I don’t hope to see the abolition be replaced by some others law,” he chuckled.