After years of focusing on the development of idle land in the country, UDA Holdings Bhd now has a vision to develop Malay reserve land across the nation – more than 4 million square feet of it, in fact.
According to a recent Benama report, UDA chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Shafei Abdullah said the company has been actively surveying Malay reserve land across the peninsula and has already identified strong potentials for development in Selangor and Johor.
UDA takes the perspective that development and modernisation of these locales will result in a notable increase in value.
Shafei pointed out that the bulk of Malay reserve land is currently classed as agricultural land. Many such parcels have also been left idle and unattended to. As such, the value of the land parcels has either been stagnant or have seen a drop in prices.
“UDA is ready to take the role as pioneer in the development of Malay reserve land, especially those located beyond Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
UDA’s board has already made a decision to move forward by seeking out and engage with such sites that are located outside Kuala Lumpur, with a view to identifying those that will have strong value in the future.
“Right now these sites are not as big as Kuala Lumpur, but I believe they can be transformed into towns,” Shafei said.
He added that the government could play a part by re-evaluating Malay reserve land so that it would increase in value in the future.
Part of the proposal will include a provision to split the lots. As these sites were initially reserved for agriculture, these are large as an acre of agricultural land can be divided and accommodate many owners.
However, current issues include multiple owners for a single plot, which makes it difficult for authorities to “OK” any development plan without the approval of all entities who have a share.
Shafei said the problem can be fixed by the relaxation of regulations over ownership to allow the land to be developed significantly faster.
He also suggests the authorities open the land up to be leased to non-Bumiputeras, as this would not just increase the marketability of the land, but also prompt banks to provide loans to landowners.