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Peel Avenue land valued by valuation department

 | May 23, 2017

The federal agency set a RM156 million price tag for freehold tenure in 2015, says Lim Guan Eng.

limguengeng-lebuhrayapeelGEORGE TOWN: The Peel Avenue state government land was sold to a private hospital last year at a price approved by the finance ministry’s property valuation department, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

He was responding to claims made by opposition leader Jahara Hamid (BN-Telok Ayer Tawar) that the 6.4 acre land was sold “too cheap” at RM156 million, or RM559 per square feet.

The land, owned by Penang Chief Minister Incorporated, was sold to Island Hospital Sdn Bhd to build a 600-1,000-bed hospital and other developments.

The investment is said to be worth at least RM2 billion and the hospital is expected to be completed in five years.

In a bid to quash criticisms, Lim today revealed a Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) report on the value of the Peel Avenue land, dated Oct 13, 2015.

In the JPPH letter, addressed to the Northeast District Office, made available to the press, the department gave a RM156,440,000 price tag for the freehold land at Lot 1449, Peel Avenue.

JPPH recommended a RM148,620,000 price tag if the government was planning to sell it on a 99-year lease.

It stated for a 60-year lease, it should be sold at RM119,940,000 and a 30-year lease at RM96,474,00.

The valuation report was made on Sept 3, 2015 and was valid for 12 months.

Lim said the offer was made to Island Hospital on July 12, 2016 and the deal was finalised by December of the same year.

“We have given them a 99-year lease on the said land and we are following the ‘freehold’ land price guidelines given by JPPH,” he said at a press conference at the Penang assembly today.

Lim said Jahara and other critics of the Peel Avenue land sale should “attack” JPPH and the finance ministry as the price was set by them.

“If she (Jahara) is not happy with the price tag, she can attack JPPH.”

Lim was also baffled why Jahara was against the hospital project when one of the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) was to develop the medical tourism industry.

Lim said Penang will heed the NKRA set by the federal government by expanding medical tourism in the state.

It was reported that Island Hospital Sdn Bhd had already put a downpayment of RM30 million for the land, owned by Chief Minister Incorporated.

The remainder of the RM126 million (of the RM156 million) owed must be made in three months after a hospital licence is acquired.

The hospital has been given two years to acquire the licence from the health ministry.

If it fails to do this, it will forfeit 2% of the RM30 million given as downpayment for the land.

Island Hospital Sdn Bhd plans to build an “Island Medical City” comprising an initial 600-bed hospital. This will be increased to 1,000 beds in the future.

A hotel will also be built in the later stages. The project is also expected to provide 2,000 employment opportunities, from low-skilled jobs to medical specialists.

The gross development value of the project is projected to be between RM2 billion and RM7 billion.

Lim had previously said the project was not revealed to the public as the purchasers of the land were foreigners and the state had to comply with a non-disclosure agreement.

Peel Avenue land sold to hospital for RM156 million, Guan Eng reveals


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