Press Statement On 3 September 2012 By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town.

PR Penang Land Sales Is Nothing Compared To BN Government Land Sales Of 980 Acres Sold In Tanjung Tokong, 325 Acres Sold Near Jelutong Expressway And 750 Acres In Batu Kawan Sold To Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd.

Penang BN has acted dishonourably with lies and threats against PR state government. Whilst PR state government will not submit to wild threats by BN and Perkasa, we want to expose the lies by BN that demonstrates the huge disparity between land sales by BN and PR.

BN Penang is making a mountain out of a molehill on the sale of 1.1 acres of land in Jalan Zainal Abidin. However PR Penang state government land sales is nothing compared to BN government land sales of 980 acres sold in Tanjung Tokong, 325 acres sold near Jelutong Expressway and 750 acres in Batu Kawan sold to Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd.

At the same time, BN has refused to explain the RM5 million in profits this year by 2 UMNO leaders in three and a half-months from acting as a “land broker” for 31 Malay landowners in Balik Pulau. I wish to put on record the following facts:-

a) BN is lying for stating that the Jalan Zainal Abidin or Taman Manggis land was reserved for public housing and is sold off to the rich. There was no record in the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang(MPPP) planning approval that the previous state government had reserved the 1.1 acre piece of land in Taman Manggis for a low-cost housing project. The present state government had initially considered that 1.1 acre piece of land for public housing but decided that it was too small. Instead an 11 acre piece of MPPP land in Jalan S.P. Chelliah was reserved for affordable housing. Even Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Chor Chee Heung had said that affordable and public housing requires a minimum of 2 acres. Clearly a larger 11 acre piece in Jalan S.P Chelliah is preferable to 1.1 acres for affordable housing.

b) The 1.1 acre piece was sold by open competitive tender that was even advertised in the Star. Anyone can bid and the winner must put the highest bid, gave the state government 150 parking lots and be subjected to getting approval of a hospital license from the Health Ministry. The state government does not discriminate against any bidders, even from BN, provided they put up the highest price. For this reason Ivory group had successfully bidded for the Bayan Mutiara piece of land even though Ivory had openly supported BN during the 2008 general elections.

c) BN is shameless for indulging in personal attacks not just against me and my family but also my landlady. When I first rented my house, BN even lodged a report against me with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission 2 years ago claiming that I actually owned the house. And now BN makes attacks against my landlady that she knows those who tendered for the project. Is BN not now slapping its own mouth by now admitting that I do not own but actually rented a house? I must be the only Chief Minister in Malaysia for being reported to MACC for renting a house as compared to BN Ministers who own houses.

d) The PR state government is the only government that practices open competitive tenders for government projects, including land sales. How then can land sales such as Taman Manggis at RM232 per square feet be sold below market price when it is by open tender and above the price recommended by the Finance Ministry’s Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta? When BN claimed that the market price was RM450 per square feet, they accepted my challenge to buy at RM450 per square feet to build public housing. More than a month has passed and nothing has happened.

e) Land sold by the state government serves the dual purpose of encouraging the development of critical economic sectors like medical tourism for Taman Manggis or providing funding of RM 500 million to build 18,000 affordable housing units throughout the state by selling 100 acres of land in Bayan Mutiara

f) It is untrue to say that there is less government owned land than in 2008.The Penang PR state government is acutely aware of the value of land in a land-scarce state like Penang. For this reason PR have ensured that there is more land now owned by the state government,both local governments and the local state agencies combined than compared to March 8 2008 when PR first took over.

g) PR passionately believes in freedom of speech which is why the first Speakers’ Square in Malaysia was set up in Penang more than 2 years ago. Anyone can just go up and freely speak during the alloted time from 6pm-8pm every Wednesday and Sunday without needing to register or asking for MPPP’s approval. To ensure that there would be no police action for illegal assembly and that there will be no public disorder, no megaphones or loudspeakers are allowed. MPPP would only allow megaphones for certain function if there was a prior application. In the incident between senior citizens and BN, BN had bullied the senior citizens by challenging them with loudspeakers. I had said that MPPP would enforce its rules prohibiting loudspeakers as this is illegal. How can my statement of opposing an illegal use of loudspeakers at an assemby in Speakers’ Square be distorted into my opposing any assembly there as illegal?

h) The state government does not involve itself as land brokers unlike two UMNO state leaders (BN General Election Director Dato Omar Faudzar and Penang UMNO Deputy Chairman Dato Musa Sheikh Fadzir) who had bought a 10 acre piece of land owned by 31 Malay landowners in Kampung Terang Balik Pulau for RM8.6 million on 31.1.2012. The 2 UMNO state leaders then sold the land for RM13.5 million on 16 May 2012, recording a huge profit for themselves of RM5 million in less than three and a half months.

BN Sold Prime Land In Tanjung Tokong At RM 1 Per Square Foot And Jelutong Expressway Reclaimed Land At RM 20 Per Square Foot.

Land sales by open tender is public knowledge as they are advertised publicly. The open tenders of land sales by PR state government in getting the highest price above market value is a direct contrast to land sales by the previous BN government. For instance in the Tanjong Tokong Reclamation, under Agreements dated 1990 & 1999, the developer was given the right to reclaim and develop 980 acres of land off Tanjong Tokong at the price of RM 1 per square foot!

As for the Jelutong Expressway, under Agreements dated 1997, 2002 & 2003, the developer was given the right to reclaim 325 acres of land in exchange for constructing the Jelutong Expressway at an estimated cost of RM300 million and payment of RM25.4 million. In other words, the total cost is RM325.4 million for 325 acres or the cost of reclaimed land at Jelutong Expressway is RM 1 million per acre or over RM 20 per square feet. What’s more the developer can pay RM 25.4 million over 10 years from 2005 up to 2015 – surely a record for length of payment period.

BN leaders, including BN Chairman Teng Chang Yeow, have refused to explain the RM 5 million profit earned by UMNO leaders as land brokers or why they sold off state land so cheaply when BN was in power. If BN leaders can sell off land so cheaply when they were in power, what is to stop BN from selling off Penang again when they return to power?

Lim Guan Eng

—BM Version—

Kenyataan Akhbar oleh Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng di Komtar, George Town pada 3 September 2012.

Penjualan Tanah Oleh PR Pulau Pinang Tidak Dapat Bertanding Dengan Penjualan Tanah Oleh Kerajaan BN Yang Menjual Sebanyak 980 Ekar Di Tanjung Tokong, 325 Ekar Di Lebuhraya Jelutong Dan 750 Ekar Di Batu Kawan Yang Dijual Kepada Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd.

BN Pulau Pinang bertindak mungkar dengan penipuan dan ugutan terhadap kerajaan negeri PR. Sementara kerajaan negeri PR tidak akan tunduk kepada ugutan liar oleh BN dan Perkasa, kami mahu mendedahkan penipuan oleh BN untuk membuktikan jurang besar antara penjualan tanah yang dilakukan oleh BN dengan PR.
BN Pulau Pinang sengaja membesarkan isu penjualan tanah 1.1 ekar di Jalan Zainal Abidin. Hakikatnya, penjualan tanah oleh kerajaan negeri PR tidak dapat bertanding dengan penjualan tanah oleh kerajaan BN yang menjual sebanyak 980 ekar di Tanjung tokong, 325 ekar di Lebuhraya Jelutong dan 750 ekar di Batu Kawan yang dijual kepada Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd.

Read all here and mandarin version as well......