Guan Eng: I’m the chief minister, not a property agent

Lim-Guan-Eng-penangGEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has pledged, in a statement, that he and his administration have nothing to hide on a bungalow purchase and welcomed a MACC investigation on the controversy.

“We will give full co-operation to investigations by the MACC, whose officers visited my offices on Thursday.”

Despite the Penang government practising the highest levels of accountability and transparency, BN will make black into white and white into black.

“BN leaders should do what I have done, that is open their houses to the media, and make public declaration of personal assets,” added Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general,

“BN has yet to disclose the identity of the donor of the RM2.6 billion.”

Lim, resuming his take on the bungalow purchase, said that one BN lie was based on his statement that he did not know the value of his house even though he signed the sale and purchase agreement and paid stamp duty.

“I had replied to a question on whether the value of my house was RM6.5 million as alleged by Umno.

“I replied that I did not know if my house was valued at M6.5 million. I am the chief minister, not a property agent.”

His reply in reference to the RM6.5 million value by Umno, he added, was even highlighted on the front page of The Star, twisted and distorted.

BN was trying to compare the former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo’s corruption case with his and that the purchase of the bungalow was connected to his landlady benefiting from the sale of government land in Taman Manggis to a company, KLIDC, noted Lim.

“My landlady has stated that she had sold her house to me of her own free will.

“BN ignores the fact that the sale to KLIDC was by open tender. My landlady was neither a director nor shareholder of KLIDC.

“KLIDC was also not a subsidiary company belonging to my landlady.”

The Penang chief minister warned that character assassination and conspiracy cannot justify, blot out or distract attention from the RM42 billion 1MDB controversy, the RM2.6 billion political donation and the RM100 million alleged misappropriation at the Youth & Sports Ministry.

He said BN’s controversies had caused loss of public funds and hurt the nation’s economy and led to the depreciation of the ringgit.

“The purchase of my house has shown the highest levels of transparency and accountability with the practice of open tenders. I even opened up my house for inspection by the media.”

BN’s print and broadcasting media continue their blanket coverage of his house, as if there were no other news or issue in the world, continued Lim.

Elsewhere, Lim said Gerakan’s statements on the one-acre Taman Manggis land was all empty talk.

“When we made a decision to sell the Taman Manggis land by open tender to promote medical tourism to build a hospital, there was no talk from Gerakan about public housing.

“A 2001 layout plan submitted to Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang by the National Housing Department, under the Federal Government’s Housing Ministry, does not mention public housing in Taman Manggis.”

The Penang government acted quickly, he reminded.

“The Taman Manggis land was too small, at one acre, for public housing.

“My administration allocated a bigger 11-acre site along neighbouring Jalan S.P. Chelliah for affordable housing and low-medium-cost homes.”

An open tender for the project was conducted in 2013 and work on the 2,093 units had started, with 20% completion now, continued Lim.

“If not for victimisation by the Housing Ministry, in delaying the advertising permit and developer licence (APDL) by a year, the project would be more than 20% completed.”