Hopeless in Penang: A land full of lies

TTF: Malaysians of all walks should read the news item below. It is a well narrated expose by Penang UMNO Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman on Lim Guan Eng’s attempts to conceal the truth regarding the wanton sale of state land in Penang.

And there is more.

Not many are aware of the hefty increases in the rates for property development and change of land use that the Guan Eng administration imposed. On the 8th of April 2015, the charge for the enhancement of land value was increased from 25% to 50% for the island just as a charge of 12% introduced for the mainland. 

Not only was there was never a charge for the enhancement of land value within MPSP’s jurisdiction under BN rule, the development charges for housing in the state were increased a ridiculous 300% for absolutely no rhyme or reason.That gave the Chief Minister all the more reason to overdevelop the state with luxury high-rises catered for cash-rich foreigners.

Perhaps now you understand why he sold – and in some cases, ‘donated’ – very large parcels of state land to crony developers. By doing so, he was able to impose these hefty charges on them and record the amounts collected as revenue generated due to the ‘effective and prudent management of the state’. 

The more he got his cronies to build luxury high-rises, the more money his administration and developers made. The Chief Minister wasn’t bothered if such development was unregulated or brought adverse effects to the state, as evinced by the worst floods ever to hit Penang recently.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is alleged to be hiding the truth from the public on the sale of land in the state in order to get higher returns.

Penang UMNO Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said Lim continues to spin the issue by stating that the Penang DAP state government only sold 42.94 ha of land from 2008 until to date.

“The chief minister claimed the Penang DAP government received a higher return for selling land compared to the returns obtained by the Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) government. He continues to hide the facts from the people.

“The Penang BN government (before 2008) only gave right to land reclamation to Seri Tanjong Pinang (STP) Reclamation Project in Tanjung Tokong, Jelutong Expressway to IJM Land Berhad and the Bagan Ajam coast to Rayston Consortium Sdn Bnd.

“Lim has made the wrong comparison as selling existing land for development and giving right to reclaim the sea are not the same. The reclamation project which was approved by the previous BN government does not provide returns in the form of cash only.

“The financial proceeds to the state government for the STP reclamation project in STP in Tanjong Tokong was not only RM1/sq foot as payment for the right for the land reclamation (totaling RM42.7 million) as claimed,” he said in a statement today.

He reportedly said the Penang BN state government collected RM1.0568 billion from the sale of 1482 ha of land while the Penang DAP government made more, RM1.1102 billion, after selling 42.94 ha of land.

Lim was also reported to have denied the claims of certain quarters who said his administration had to sell land and trade state assets to cover the state government’s increasing administrative expenditure.

Zainal Abidin, who is also Penang Federal Action Council chairman, said according to the concession agreement, the Penang state government would obtain a ready reclaimed land measuring 44.52 ha.

“Indeed, it is this 44.52 ha land which is used by the Penang state government to pay the contractor of the Undersea Tunnel Project and three main roads worth RM6.3 billion. As such, the returns from the STP project is not only RM42.7 million..it is in excess of RM6.3 billion.”

He said the STP reclamation project and the Jelutong Expressway involved the constructions of low cost houses, Medium Low Cost Houses and highway.

“The sea reclamation in Bagan Ajam will provide land for the expansion of the Northern Butterworth Container Terminal.”

Source: Bernama

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