PETALING JAYA: Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) Vice-President Huan Cheng Guan has called on the police to expedite investigations on corruption allegations against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Speaking to newsmen after lodging a police report at the Perai police station here today, Huan said the allegation that Lim bought a 10,000 sq ft bungalow for RM2.8 million, below the market price for the area, was “a serious matter.”
He said the price of the bungalow was abnormally low, and cited that a 5,000 sq ft unit in the same area was sold for RM3.6 million in 2014.
“I have confidence in the police that they will get to the bottom of the allegation straight away.
“This is an issue of utmost public importance,” Huan told newsmen outside the police station.
He was accompanied by political secretary K Prabakaran, aides Tan Khai Beng, Ban Boon Leng, Chee Leck Kai, T Sambath and J Puspanathan.
All hell broke loose in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday after Opposition and Barisan Nasional lawmakers bickered bitterly when Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) claimed Lim had bought the bungalow he had previously rented for an unusually low price.
Shabudin said the bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, was initially valued at RM2.5 million in 2008 and had undergone extensive renovations, but was sold to Lim last year for just RM2.8 million.
He claimed this did not realistically reflect the rise in property value.
He also linked the house purchase to the 2012 sale of two plots of land in Taman Manggis to private developers who wanted to build a private dental clinic and a hotel on it.
The Taman Manggis land was allegedly meant for low-cost housing but Huan said the land was sold at a price 50 per cent below market value to a medical-based company, Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre (KLIDC) Sdn Bhd.
Several groups lodged graft reports at the Penang office of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MAAC) in George Town in 2012 regarding the sale of Taman Manggis to KLIDC. However, MACC investigations on the issue have remained ambiguous until today.
“I urge MACC to reveal what its findings are on the Taman Manggis graft allegation. It has been four long years. But until today we have heard nothing,” said Huan.
In 2012, Penang Gerakan alleged that the landlord of Lim’s bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn was one Phang Li Koon.
A search by Huan in the Registrar of Companies revealed that Phang is a director of Winbond Management and Consultant Sdn Bhd, in which another director Tang Yong Chew, is also a director in KLIDC.
In his immediate reaction yesterday, Lim tweeted: “More lies by Umno trying 2equate me with BN. Bought 40yr old house through subsale not thro developer will reply 2mrw.”
Speaking to an online portal later, he refuted accusations that he had bought the bungalow at an unusually low price, claiming the place was 30 years old and without a swimming pool.
BN Tanjung Karang MP Noh Omar told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that Lim’s case was similar to how a corruption probe was initiated against former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo after his controversial house purchase was raised in the Dewan Rakyat.
“When a two-room 650 sq ft ‘affordable’ house costs RM400,000 in Penang, it is shocking that the chief minister can purchase a bungalow of 10,000 sq ft for RM2.8 million.
“Lower-income Penangites cannot even afford to buy affordable houses in their own state, but the chief minister can purchase a bungalow so cheaply. It’s shocking.”