Najib welcomes decision on KTM land in Singapore

Najib welcomes decision on KTM land in Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision by an international arbitral tribunal that there is no need for a development charge on three parcels of former KTM Bhd land in Singapore will mean better profits for the joint-venture firm developing the land.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the development projects being undertaken by M+S Pte Ltd, which is 60% owned by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional Bhd and 40% by Singapore's Temasek Holdings, were viable.

He said the development of projects located in Marina Square and Ophir-Rochor would be continued following the decision by the tribunal.

"Both will be continued in their development as the sale has been done and I believe they will be viable projects.

"This is because if development charges are to be paid, it would need to be paid by the company in which we have a 60% interest and Singapore has a 40% interest.

"This decision by the tribunal means that the company will get a bigger profit," Najib told a press conference after chairing the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting here on Friday evening.

The arbitral tribunal had decided that the Malaysia-Singapore joint venture company M+S Pte Ltd need not pay a development charge that Singapore wanted to impose on three parcels of land in Keppel, Kranji and Woodlands.

In 2010, the prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore agreed on a landmark land swap deal.

Under the exchange, three plots of railway land in Keppel, Kranji and Woodlands, and another three plots in Bukit Timah, would be swapped for four parcels of land in Marina South and two parcels of land in Ophir-Rochor.

Both countries, however, had different views on whether development charges were payable to the Singapore government and agreed to take the matter to the tribunal.

On another matter, Najib said the Barisan supreme council meeting also discussed the need for the coalition to strengthen cooperation at the grassroots level.

"Of course, it is clear that the Opposition is more chaotic than we are but we will still strive to improve our cooperation through better understanding within the Barisan top leadership," he said.

Asked about the Sarawak state election, which is due in 2016, Najib said the coalition would do its level best to pick suitable candidates as early as possible.

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