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Freeze on 1MDB land transactions still on, says Guan Eng

 | January 10, 2017

Penang will continue to freeze 1MDB land transactions until the company comes clean on the scandal which has hurt Malaysia badly, says Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

guangeng-1mdbGEORGE TOWN: All land dealings related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in Penang remain frozen, Lim Guan Eng said today, adding that as long as Pakatan Harapan remained in power, this would not change.

The chief minister said the freeze was necessary to get answers for the scandals from the government investment company.

“1MDB must give a full account of the scandal. Unless it comes clean, all transactions involving its land in Penang remains frozen,” he told reporters in Komtar today.

The Straits Times reported that 1MDB was in the process of winding up and its assets would be transferred over the coming months to two companies owned by the finance ministry.

1MDB’s assets include a 94.7ha piece of land in Air Hitam, Penang, and several other parcels in Kuala Lumpur.

It was reported that 1MDB bought the land in Penang years ago at RM1.38 billion for housing projects which were announced in the run-up to the 2013 general election.

The Penang government first announced it would freeze all land transactions involving 1MDB in 2015 when the company’s debt came to light.

In July 2015, Lim said under Section 320 of the National Land Code, a Registrar’s caveat may be lodged on any land if necessary.

The Penang government had also questioned the ownership of the 1MDB land in Air Itam, following reports of a land search in May 2015 that revealed 1MDB owned only 85.7% of the land while the rest belonged to minorities.

Lim today reiterated that the state would not approve any land transaction until 1MDB “comes clean on the scandal”.

“So far, they have not filed any application.

“As a government organisation, they are accountable to explain the land purchase.

“The company must provide answers as its dealings had hurt Malaysia badly,” he said, adding that the scandal also badly affected the value of the ringgit.

Lim also urged Putrajaya to cancel the passport of Low Taek Jho to force him to come home and explain the controversies surrounding 1MDB.


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