‘Compensation’ bogey spreads from Penang to KL


It looks as if the residents of Taman Rimba Kiara are being intimidated by the prospect that the government might have to pay RM150m in compensation should it cancel the Rimba Kiara condo project.

If all this sounds like deja vu for Penang folks, it is because we have heard this familiar tune in Penang in the years after 2008: “To cancel these projects would require huge compensation being paid out to the developers…”

That constant refrain appeared aimed at quashing public pressure to cancel projects that were not in the public interest.

Over in KL, in the case of Rimba Kiara, the developers had apparently filed a suit for RM150m in compensation and damages when Kuala Lumpur City Hall revoked its approval.

Look, developers can claim any figure, but what they will actually get will be determined by the courts.

Two prominent lawyers, Ambiga Sreenevasan and Derek Fernandez, have spoken out:

“It is our view that the federal territories minister and the Cabinet ought to take proper, independent legal advice on the matter and review the whole process involved in this development.”

Ambiga and Fernandez said where a contract was found to be tainted by illegality, the so called “binding contracts” could be set aside, the Development Order revoked and the project terminated.

“It would then be arguable that any developer involved in such illegality is not entitled to any compensation for its termination on the grounds of public policy.”

They said the relevant Development Order issued by the minister for the project did not accord with the 2013 Draft KL City Plan where Bukit Kiara was zoned as a park with no changes.

They also noted that the gazetting of the 2018 KL City Plan was not legal as it violated the law and had included unilateral changes to the Bukit Kiara Park without displaying the same for public hearing, in accordance with the law.

“The only compensation payable in the event of termination (subject to any allegations of illegality being proven) and where the land is undeveloped, is the actual expenditure incurred as stated in section 25(6) of the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982. This would involve the purchase price paid for the land, the land premium and other expenses, all of which must be supported by receipts or proof of payment for the alleged expenditure. This is unlikely to be anywhere near RM150 million.”

Apart from this, it is simply poor negotiating stance for government ministers and officials to even suggest that the government could be liable to pay compensation. It is almost like an admission of liability before any negotiations or proceedings in court can take place – and almost gives the green light to developers to file large claims.

Back in 2012, I wrote: Generally speaking, I think we should refrain from conceding that the local government will have to pay high compensation for projects rejected or downsized. This may turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy as naturally, it may prompt developers to submit high compensation claims. I don’t think it is a street-savvy negotiating stance to concede right at the start that the local government may have to pay high compensation. It results in the public being cowed into silence and opens the door to potentially large claims.

Developers in general are free to submit all kinds of claims, but it is up to the local government to challenge or counter those claims and protect the interests of the people. The local government should make it known that it will vigorously contest any and all such claims to protect the public interest.

Developers who submit excessive compensation claims against the local government (which are accountable for public funds) should also be mindful that they stand to lose much in goodwill.

If the local government feels a particular developer’s action has been against the public interest, would it be possible to blacklist such a developer from future projects in the state?

Meanwhile, Hannah Yeoh says Taman Rimba Kiara “must not be touched for development”. Good for her for speaking out in support of the residents.

Speaking of which, it might be an interesting exercise to study the statements of politicians to find out which ones are speaking the language of developers and which ones are defending the public interest.

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Black Mage

Speaking of ‘compensation’ in terms of salary and benefits, Bank Negara has revealed that fresh grads’ wages have fallen.


“Between 2010 and 2017, the number of diploma and degree holders in the labour force increased by an average of 173,457 persons per annum, much higher than the net employment gains in high-skilled jobs of 98,514 persons per annum.

“This suggests that the economy has not created sufficient high-skilled jobs to absorb the number of graduates entering the labour force.”

Ps: should reduce IPTA intake and increase TVET intake since the bloated civil service is cutting back on new hires.

Don Anamalai

We are wasting money via PTPTN producing graduates that have skills or qualifications not relevant to current industry needs. Tun M has said no more new hidings in civil service to improve productivity, so can expect unemployment rate among new graduates from local universities to go up?

Arun 777

Watch movie at cinema a few days ago noticed ads by Sunway and Inti offering local university courses. Good marketing but not sure about the quality. Wonder if such courses got any value to potential employers.

Siang Yik

last time need good results to enter U.
now got money any local private U will open the door for you.


Last time, need good Higher School Certificate ( HSC) to enter local U.
Now, got Matriculation, no need to sweat in Form 6 for auto-entry into U.
(Provided you get selected for Matrics, which is majority reserved for Bumiputras)


So? Try harder


You missed out U?


U grads before the 90s are better than after 80s. Tung land not grad as before 80s standards are high and admission is stringent. External exams based on standard questions. The no need to study all just study to get 60%marks can pass external exams


Tung land miss out. The that is why he grumble all the time and telling others to try and get harder


Yes missing out that is why bising here

Black Mage

Time for food debate.

Malaysian food ranks low in global survey

Chef Wan said Malaysian food may not have as much of a global footprint as the more ubiquitous Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.

Black Mage

Singapore submits nomination to inscribe hawker culture on Unesco list

Don Anamalai

The hawker centres in Singapore are very clean. (Thanks to cleaners from Malaysia earning SingDollar), unlike ours at kopitiams and roadsides or under the trees.

Ah Niu

Problem is most Malaysian Chinese food turned halal. So in Singapore more authentic!


Good point.
It is a pity mat salleh staying in malaysian hotels do not get to eat our famous bak kut teh in the hotel restaurants.

Black Mage

Diners in Washington, DC are getting a taste of a Singapore childhood treat – the ice-cream sandwich.

It will be served in DBGB Kitchen And Bar, chef Daniel Boulud’s 130-seat casual French American bistro in the United States capital, from April 8 to 14.


Benny Chiok

Tourists stay in Malaysian hotels get to eat halalised Chinese food without the pork stock soup base so no real taste of original of prawn mee, then wrong impression of Chinese street food.

Siang Yik

remember that Alvin guy tried to promote bak kut teh, got into trouble and have to seek asylum in USA…


Malaysia Baru Era should not ‘strangle’ our authentic multi-culture food business in hotels, restaurants, fast food centres but give the freedom to serve both halal + non-halal options. Even if it means 2 separate kitchens. Plates, forks & spoons, cups should be treated as ‘everyone-use’ just like our Ringgit for everyone-use.
The less of these ‘strangulation via halal all-encompassing regulation’ the better for Malaysian Food Cuisine expression. FYI, we are not strictly Arabs!

Jenson Foo

Malaysia although claims to be Truly Asia somehow only promotes Nasi Lemak, Rendang, and Satay to foreign tourists especially in its overseas promotion.

Anyway halal Char Kway Teow known as Kway Teow Kerang is not complete without the lard. Must eat The Real Thing to truly appreciate this street food. Can you imagine the Siam Road guy do without the lard?


It’s like taking away the Bak Kut (from pig) & replace Bak Kut Teh with Kambing! And call it Bak Kut Kambing Teh!!! OMG! Where is the uummpphhh factor???


One man’s food is the other man’s poison.


Why worry? Kau beh kau bu lagi best


One of the must-have recipe of Char Kway Teow is the Bak Yew Pho, lard fried & cut into small pieces which give a heavenly crispy taste when you bite it slow & roll it with your tongue. This Bak Yew Pho is also a must have in Hokkien Mee without which this dish won’t be complete. I like it best when sprinkle a few drops of soya sauce on the Bak Yew Pho!
Thanks God for the Lard!


Try harder. Char keow teow originated from Chao chou the teochews not Fujian.

Black Mage

Meanwhile foreign workers in Penang get to stay in condominiums, thanks to MNCs.

Don Anamalai

Wonder what Penang Forum has to say about this.


‘Compensation’ bogey spreads from Penang to Melaka! Developer files review of minister’s decision, seeks RM139b in damages https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/470578 A developer for the Malacca Gateway integrated deep-sea port project filed a judicial review against Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s decision to cancel the port operating licence granted to the firm. The licence was granted to KAJ Development Bhd by the previous federal government on March 2018, two months before the 14th general election, which led to a change of government. The developer is also seeking a certiorari order to quash the cancellation of the licence and a mandamus order to compel Loke… Read more »


what is wrong with government telling the public frankly about possibility of paying compensation? ?


what is KL development has to do with Penang…? Penang forum any how shoot…really no class…hehe


From State level to Federal Level.Just pay their cronies without going to court.
rajraman.Very Contagious when come to $$$.


Why just grumble and kau beh kau bu? We always hear grumble but no facts to sue and sent to Mata2


Gomen cannot afford lawyers and no state legal advisor? Why not volunteer to give advice to the state foc?


MoT is sued for billions. Now you can be super hero and are you going to help out?