What’s happening at Penang’s former Alcatraz, asks BN rep

changGEORGE TOWN: Reveal development plans on Jerejak Island, the Penang government has been told.

This follows news that a state-linked arm had sold its stake in a resort on the island.

Penang BN Chairman Teng Chang Yeow said it was worrying that the state government’s 49 per cent stake in the resort was sold to a developer.

The remaining 295ha of 359ha of the island, consisting of virgin forest, is still owned by the Penang government.

“What was the selling price, and if so, was it done through an open tender or other forms of negotiations?

“As of today, nobody seems to know the actual situation. Has the state lost ownership of the evergreen Jerejak Island?” Teng questioned in a press conference today.

In a statement on Monday, Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIR) announced it would go into a joint venture with Q Islands Development Sdn Bhd (QID) to redevelop an existing resort and 32ha of land on the island.

The redevelopment plan comprises a bridge linking Pulau Jerejak to the main island, 1,200 homes, a marina, hotels, a theme park, a 11.5km round-the island cycling track and related infrastructure to promote tourism in the state.

QID is a subsidiary of Penang-based Ideal Property Group.

TIR is a 51:49 joint-venture company, comprising federal agency Urban Development Authority (UDA) and state investment arm Penang Development Corporation (PDC).

The resort, which brought down its shutters in May, has reportedly sustained “heavy losses” since it began operations in 2004.

The island, a former leper asylum and penal colony, straddles the South Channel of the Malacca Straits on the east cost of Penang Island.

Chief Minister and PDC Chairman Lim Guan Eng said it had sold its stake in TIR for a handsome profit, through a “government to government” deal.

He did not specify who it was sold to, but announced that a statement on the sale would be released tomorrow.

“We definitely made back a lot by selling it to them. We will announce the figure in a statement tomorrow,” he said when met by reporters at the PDC Deepavali Open House.

On Teng’s query regarding development on the island, Lim said, “UDA is under the Federal Government. Why doesn’t he ask them?”

Lim was replying to Opposition leader Jahara Hamid at the state assembly on the status of PDC’s ownership in November 2015. Lim, in his written reply to Jahara, said PDC had sold its portion of its share in TIR to UDA Holdings Berhad.

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