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‘State’s offer letter only good to wrap kacang putih’

 | September 9, 2012

Penang government's offer letter to sell Taman Manggis land was not an official offer as it did not bear either the signature of the CM or state secretary, says BN.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional Youth movement has rubbished the state government’s so-called official offer letter to sell the 1.1 acre Taman Manggis land as a mere piece of political document good enough only to wrap kacang putih.

Instead, the movement chief Oh Tong Keong said BN would issue to the state government an official purchase offer letter within the next 10 days to buy up the land.

He said the offer would be submitted by a company, namely Taman Manggis Phase 2 Sdn Bhd, to be set up this week by some five to six BN-friendly developers based here and Kuala Lumpur.

Oh said the BN-friendly developers were prepared to fork out some RM50 million via the new company to buy the land and develop the houses.

He said the developers want to build these houses for poor as part of their social responsibility, unlike the DAP-helmed state government

“The company will be specially set up only for the project.

“We will definitely build the houses for poor.

“The state must sell the land to us now,” he told a press conference at Penang Gerakan head office here today.

Present were the movement’s deputy chief Shaik Hussien Mydin, vice-chairmen Andrew Rajah and Tan Hing Teik, information chief H’ng Khoon Leong and committee member Ng Say Kheng

Oh said the so-called state offer letter was a mere political gimmick and not an official sale offer since it did not bear either the signature of the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng or state secretary.

The letter was indeed signed by Komtar assemblyman and Lim’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik.

“The state government should know that it was not a bicycle or motor sale, but a land sale.

“The state offer is merely a political letter … can wrap kacang putih only,” jibed Oh.

Controversial sale

Taman Manggis controversy has become a stinging political weapon against the embattled Lim’s nearly five-year rule in Penang after BN exposed that the land had been earmarked for a posh hospital-hotel project.

The project is a 30-storey building comprising a 19-storey hotel, a six-storey private hospital and a five-storey car park

BN argued it previously had originally set aside the land for affordable housing.

The previous government built a block of 18-storey affordable units on originally 4.9 acres Taman Manggis, leaving the remaining 1.1 acres for future development of second block project.

An official internal memo from the state housing and local government director to the state secretary in July 2003 confirmed this.

Lim has claimed that state decided to sell the 1.1 acre land for RM11.5 million or RM232 psf to Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre Sdn Bhd (KLIDC) as its size was not viable for housing project.

He said the state government would use the land sales proceed to fund its affordable city housing project in Jalan SP Chelliah, some 3km from Taman Manggis.

When BN slammed the Pakatan Rakyat state government for selling the land to KLIDC below market price, Lim promptly offered BN to buy the land for RM22 million of RM450 psf.

BN state chief Teng Chang Yeow instantly agreed to purchase the land, which compelled the state government to make the sale offer.


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