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Stop childish politics, Guan Eng told

 | March 21, 2011

The CM should concentrate in state administration and not in politicking to confuse the people, say state BN leaders

GEORGE TOWN: Fed up with Lim Guan Eng’s political antics, a local Barisan Nasional leader today blew his top and ticked off the Chief Minister ‘to stop his childish politics”.

“The CM should concentrate in state administration and not in politicking to confuse the people.

“Lim Guan Eng should stop asking people to sue and counter sue.

“We are not in the business of suits,” slammed an upset BN state information chief Musa Syeikh Fadzir.

Musa was commenting on Lim’s recent challenge to the state BN to take legal against the DAP-led state government on the Pulau Jerejak fiasco.

The chief minister had said that the project undertaken by the previous administration had incurred a deficit of RM30mil.

Lim’s government has printed about 150,000 flyers to inform the people on the loss and urged the previous administration to return the money.

The flyer listed the RM30mil deficit as RM10.6mil in land premiums yet to be paid to the Penang Land Administrator, RM15.44mil in investment cost, and RM3.6mil unsettled loan from Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIR).

Penang BN has previously chided Lim for abusing his position and using public funds to print the flyers.

Stop the malicious campaign

Musa branded Lim’s legal challenge as “childish politics.”

Instead he called on Lim to take legal action on anyone or any organisation that he thought had committed wrong doing in the Pulau Jerejak eco-tourism project.

“He accused us of wrongdoing then called on us to sue.

“He should do it (take legal action), not us.“Lim should stop his malicious campaign to spread lies against us,” insisted Musa, who is also the Umno state deputy chief and Bukit Mertajam division chairman.

He was speaking during a BN press conference to counter allegations raised by Lim’s government on the estimated RM220 million ‘Back to Nature’ Pulau Jerejak project.

“If we are not telling the truth to the people of Penang, the previous administration should proceed to take legal action against us,” Lim said last week

BN state working committee chairman Dr Teng Hock Nan however, rebuked Lim of misinforming and misleading the people with incorrect facts and half truths.

He explained that the previous administration decided to transfer some 80 acres land in Pulau Jerejak to the project developer, Tropical Island Resort (TIR), to facilitate its bank local procurement

Ulterior motive

He admitted that the previous BN government transferred the land title to TIR despite payment of land premium being made in installments.

But he argued that the state government had the power to do so under Section 14(1)(J) of the National Land Code.

“Moreover we did not transfer the land title to a private company or individual.

“It was merely transferred to a government owned company.

“Thus a state government could easily recover the land premium and loan arrears, if any, from a government owned company,” he told newsmen in Kompleks Tabung Haji in Bayan Lepas.

He rather finds it amusing that Lim had resorted to political attacks on BN instead of using his powers to recover the money from TIR.

Given to Lim’s claims that he had the state at heart, Teng said a responsible chief minister was morally duty bound to ensure such projects were handled best for the people.

“He should not mislead the people with sole ulterior motive to tarnish previous government’s image,” said Teng, the Gerakan state chairman who was an executive councillor in the previous administration.

TIR is a jointly owned land by government-link companies Penang Development Corporation (PDC 49 per cent) and Urban Development Authority (UDA 51 per cent).

PDC has invested 45 per cent of the RM31.5 million capital investment for the Pulau Jerejak project, which was to be carried out in four phases.

The first two phases comprising clearance of project site and construction of a resort hotel have been completed.

But the previous BN government could not complete the final two phases after it lost in the last general election.

Only book losses

Lim has said the state government saw no point in continuing with a project suffering a big deficit in its first phase.

“It’s up to the current state government to decide whether it want to continue or discontinue the project.

“But Pulau Jerejak development project would not be economically viable if the whole project was not completed,” Teng.

He said a check at the Registrar of Companies showed TIR had only suffered book value losses of RM18.5 million while PDC had only suffered RM9 million losses pertaining to the project as of Dec 2009.

“It’s only book losses, not actual losses,” he explained, noting that the state government still owned the development site land vis-a-vis PDC.

The land value was RM47.6 million in 2001 and he said its value now would surely have gone up by three to four folds.

He argued the state government can recover its money and even more by selling the land to another party.

“Where did state government lost money here? Where is the scandal? Where is the immorality?

“If Lim feels there were wrongdoings, we challenge him to take legal proceedings immediately,” said Teng.

BN meanwhile would prefer to explain the truth to the people rather than emulating Lim’s style of ‘childish’ politicking.


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