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Explain inflated property prices, Lim told

 | May 30, 2012

BN challenges Pakatan to show proof that its 'ill-conceived' policies are not the reason for exhorbitant property prices in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Barisan Nasional wants the Pakatan Rakyat government to prove that its policy on development projects was not responsible for escalating property prices Penang.

BN state psy-war bureau chief Loga Balan Mohan said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng Lim must explain the leap in property prices in state over the past four years.

“He should cut down inflated land premiums, land conversion rates and development charges to prove that his government did not cause the price hikes,” said Loga.

He said that market forces play a pivotal role in determining property prices and that the previous BN government kept prices low due to its reasonable development-related charges.

“But today, property prices are ridiculously high in Penang the due to the inflation of development-related charges.

“The chief minister should be man enough to admit that his ill-conceived policies was the reason behind the property price boom,” said Loga, the PPP state chairman.

Lim, in his blog posting, refuted BN claims. He said that the state land conversion rates have been maintained at the same level as that of the previous BN administration.

He also said that the property prices were determined by market forces of supply.

“No governments in the world, including China and US, can force the property market to rise or fall in value,” he said.

He the escalating property prices showed strong public confidence in the state government’s CAT policy of competency, accountability and transparency.

He said his government has managed to achieve budget surpluses yearly and record a debt reduction of 95%.

Moreover, Lim claimed that public confidence has been boosted by his government’s graft-free business culture and open competitive tenders.

Critics have frequently hit out at Lim’s administration for not providing affordable houses for lower income people, who are predominantly ethnic Malays and Indians.

Criticisms brushed aside

In move to quell the criticisms, the DAP-helmed government has now allocated a minimum RM500 million to build affordable houses.

Penang Development Corporation (PDC) will build 12,000 units under Phase 1 in Batu Kawan, Seberang Perai Selatan district and another 6,000 under Phase 2 in four districts in Penang.

“This is the largest amount of money for affordable housing allocated by any state government in the country,” said Lim, adding that he expected the private sector to build another 20,000 units.

Lim also brushed aside criticisms that the state government had been favouring developers.

He cited the high number of stop work orders issued by both municipal councils – MPPP and MPSP, showed that his government had never forsaken the people’s interests.

Since March 2008, MPPP has issued 259 stop work orders while MPSP has issued 11. Between 2003 and 2007, MPPP issued only 38 stop work orders while MPSP none.

Lim said that this proved that the current government has upheld the rule of law, demanded strict compliance with technical requirements and has been more unforgiving than BN.

Although his administration has been business-friendly, Lim said Penang welcomes only investors and businessmen who complied and obeyed the rules.

“There is no point in trying to claim a close relationship with the exco or even the chief minister as rules are more important than any friendship with state leaders,” said Lim.


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