GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is alleged to be hiding the truth from the public on the sale of land in the state in order to show higher returns.
Penang Umno Liaison Committee chairman Zainal Abidin Osman said Lim continued to spin the issue by stating that the Penang DAP state government had only sold 42.94ha of land since 2008.
“The chief minister claimed the Penang DAP government received a higher return from selling land compared with the returns obtained by the Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
“He continues to hide the facts from the people.
“The Penang BN government (before 2008) only gave the right to reclaim land to the Seri Tanjong Pinang (STP) Reclamation Project in Tanjung Tokong and Jelutong Expressway to IJM Land Bhd and the Bagan Ajam coast to Rayston Consortium Sdn Bnd.
“Lim has made the wrong comparison as selling existing land for development and giving the right to reclaim land from the sea are not the same.
“The reclamation project, which was approved by the previous BN government, does not provide returns in the form of cash only.
“The financial proceeds to the state government for the STP reclamation project in Tanjong Tokong was not only RM1/sq foot (totalling RM42.7 million) as payment for the right to the land reclamation as claimed,” he said in a statement today.
Zainal said the STP reclamation project and the Jelutong Expressway involved the construction of low-cost houses, medium-low-cost houses and a highway.
“The sea reclamation in Bagan Ajam will provide land for the expansion of the Northern Butterworth Container Terminal,” he added.
Lim was reported to have said that the Penang BN state government collected RM1.0568 billion from the sale of 1,482ha of land while the Penang DAP government made more, RM1.1102 billion, after selling 42.94ha of land.
Lim was also reported to have denied the claims of certain quarters which said his administration had to sell land and trade state assets to cover the state government’s increasing administrative expenditure.
Zainal, who is also Penang Federal Action Council chairman, said according to the concession agreement, the Penang state government would obtain ready reclaimed land of 44.52ha.
“Indeed, it is this 44.52ha land which is used by the Penang state government to pay the contractor of the Undersea Tunnel Project and three main roads worth RM6.3 billion.
“As such, the returns from the STP project is not only RM42.7 million… it is in excess of RM6.3 billion,” he said.