PETALING JAYA: Why was special treatment given to Taman Manggis land buyer, the Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre (KLIDC)?
This is the question Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director Abdul Rahman Dahlan raised in claiming that the DAP-led Penang state government had given KLIDC special treatment.
On TV3’s Soal Jawab last night, Rahman claimed the state government altered the conditions for the land’s development after it was sold to KLIDC.
The Kota Belud MP said prior to the sale of the land, the state government had stipulated it was only meant for a hospital, and this had resulted in three other companies bidding for the land to submit lower bids than KLIDC.
However, after the land was sold to KLIDC, Rahman claimed the conditions for the land were changed to allow a hospital and apartment development instead.
“I leave it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate if there is any element of abuse of power in this matter.”
Rahman also claimed that the state government had set a requirement for KLIDC to obtain a private hospital licence within a year and for the hospital’s construction to be completed within three years, but that until now, the project had not gotten off the ground, thus raising questions over why the company received special treatment from the state government.
The Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government minister also elaborated on claims that KLIDC was in the midst of selling the Taman Manggis land to a third party, and that purported sale involved the selling of KLIDC shares to a new owner.
“If the company’s shares are sold, then certainly the new share owners would also own the land,” he said, advising Lim not to be too quick in denying the sale as “new” documents related to the issue may surface.
Prior to this, Lim had refuted Rahman’s claim over the purported sale of the land to a third party, saying the state government had not received any application from KLIDC to that effect.
Rahman also questioned why the state government accepted a RM220,000 downpayment from Barisan Nasional (BN) in 2012 to buy back the Taman Manggis land when it was mortgaged by KLIDC to a local bank.
He said the tender process for the land was questionable as BN had offered a far superior price for it, RM22 million compared to KLIDC which bought the land for RM11 million. He also claimed the state government denied BN’s request to purchase the land at a higher price by setting all sorts of stipulations.
Rahman claimed that until today, the Penang state government had yet to return the RM220,000 downpayment paid by BN.
On the “willing buyer-willing seller” claim for Lim’s below-market bungalow purchase, Rahman said this argument could not be used as Lim was the state’s highest ranking civil servant and the purchase could be questioned by the people.