PENANG: Lim Guan Eng took Gerakan to task today for alleging that the sale of state land at Peel Avenue was at his sole discretion.
In a press conference held at his office in Komtar, Penang, the Chief Minister stressed that the decision was taken by a 10-member strong state executive council, not by him alone.
“Penang Gerakan claimed it was a one-man decision and that it meant Penang is led by a dictatorship, these are all fitnah and lies,” said the embattled state leader who stands accused of engaging in a bungalow-for-land scam deal.
Guan Eng was responding to a claim made by Gerakan’s acting youth chief, Jason Loo, who alleged that the decision to sell the plot to a private hospital was that of one man, or, as Loo put it, a “one man show.”
Sold for RM156 million, the plot in question was, according to the Chief Minister, valued at RM148 million by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH).
“All deals related to the hospital were done with the agreement of the state executive council.
“Can Gerakan show proof that I, the chief minister, decided the sale on my own?
“I challenge that person to show proof, or else he is a liar,” Guan Eng was reported to have said.
According to the Chief Minister, the land was parked under the state government owned Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) to facilitate a company-to-company sale rather than a government-to-company sale.
This, he said, was to give the buyer options other than to seek a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) or to pay a lump sum for the plot.
“It (CMI) is a holding company used when dealing with private companies. The state government cannot do this kind of contracts.”
The Chief Minister then trained his guns at the media for publishing Loo’s statement.
“The media must also play its role to ask him to show proof instead of only publishing his allegations.
“This is obviously something to tarnish the state and my name with false facts and lies,” he said.