Penang, Putrajaya’s loss is private company’s gain, says Najib on PTMP

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today hit out at the Penang and federal governments over funding for the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), saying the private concessionaire benefits while the two administrations lose out on “billions”.

In a Facebook post, he said the people could judge for themselves the project which includes an undersea tunnel and the Pan Island Link (PIL) highway.

He said the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project was given to a private concessionaire and paid for with prime land in Tanjung Tokong and Gurney Drive measuring 110 acres.

“The cost of the report on the tunnel alone was RM305 million, and the DAP-led Penang government gave the concessionaire a 10-acre piece of land in Tanjung Tokong as payment for the report,” he added.

Najib said the concessionaire was developing two phases of luxury condominiums on the 10-acre plot of land, and that the first phase with a gross development value (GDV) of RM800 million was already completed and being sold although no work had begun on the undersea tunnel.

He said development of the second phase, which has a GDV of RM1.2 billion, would begin next year.

According to him, the remaining 100 acres of land given to the concessionaire are at Gurney Drive, with luxury condominiums and office lots planned for 50 of those acres. The GDV for this project is RM15 billion.

The other 50 acres, he said, are being reserved by the concessionaire for future projects.

“The DAP-led (Penang) government has promised to widen the 2km road in front of the RM15 billion project at a cost of RM400 million,” he added. “The costs will be borne by the government.”

He said the state government had also promised to donate 24 hectares of land next to the concessionaire’s project for the development of a park called Gurney Wharf, which will feature a water garden, beach, hawker centre and skateboard park, among others.

He said the development cost of Gurney Wharf, estimated at RM180 million, would also be borne by the state.

Meanwhile, the RM9 billion PIL which stretches 19.5km at RM460 million per km will connect the concessionaire’s project to the Bayan Lepas airport, he said.

“This highway will further increase the value of the private project.”

Najib noted that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had on Oct 1 written to the Penang government to say that the federal government agreed to bear the cost of the RM46 billion PTMP.

“The state government gives the most valuable land to the private concessionaire. The state and federal governments incur billions to raise the value of the land and the attractiveness of the concessionaire’s projects.

“The 100% privately owned company reaps all the profits. The people can evaluate for themselves,” he said.