Lim slams Teng, asks for proof on Jerejak issue

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GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has been told to show proof that the Penang government rejected a RM220 million profit guarantee over the proposed sale of its shares in a Jerejak Island resort in 2013.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the claim by state Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow was a malicious lie and had tarnished the integrity of state agency Penang Development Corporation (PDC) that used to own shares in the resort.

“You think you are a small kid ‘main guli’ (playing marbles, Malay euphemism for child’s play)? This is a multi-million ringgit project.

“If there was indeed a RM220 million profit guarantee, we would have taken it right away.

“If indeed PDC had rejected such a deal, I am sure heads will roll,” Lim said at a press conference in Komtar today.

PDC general manager Rosli Jaafar, who was also present, concurred with Lim’s statement, saying there was no such deal.

Recently, PDC revealed that it had sold its 49 per cent share in a resort company operating on Jerejak Island, after majority shareholders Urban Development Authority (UDA) had offered to let the PDC shares be acquired by a Penang-based private developer.

PDC said it decided to let it go after the resort suffered heavy losses. The corporation made RM140.6m in profit from the share sale of Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB) to Ideal Properties Group (Ideal).

UDA and Ideal have started a joint-venture company to develop a strip west of the Jerejak Island.

Yesterday, Teng said he was told by a source in PDC that Lim’s government had rejected a similar joint venture in 2013 and lost a chance to reap bigger profits. He said the failed deal could have let PDC keep its share in the resort.

He said the share sale could have generated RM450 million in guaranteed profits with a gross development value of RM1.5 billion. He said with 49 per cent shares held by PDC, it could have made a potential profit of RM220 million if it had gone ahead with the proposed 2013 deal.

“Why did the chief minister and PDC opt for the RM156 million by selling the 49 per cent shares and lose the rights over the resort in Pulau Jerejak?

“If the Chief Minister had approved the joint venture instead, PDC would have stood to gain a potential profit of RM220 million and the rights over Pulau Jerejak would have remained intact,” Teng had said yesterday.

When contacted, Teng said Lim ought to reveal all the documents related to the sale of the shares in the interest of transparency.

He said Lim ought to also ask UDA, as majority shareholders in TIRSB, to reveal all its correspondence over the sale of shares.

“I would ask Lim to reveal all public correspondence to disprove my claim.

“If you ask UDA to reveal the documents as well, then I, too, would challenge UDA to do the same,” Teng said.

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