Berita Gerakan

Gerakan calls on PAC, MACC to probe ‘questionable sale’ of PDC-owned land to private company

Okt 6, 2023

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has called on the state Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to intervene and probe the sale of 223.6ha of state land to a private company.

Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong said this was because there were claims of abuse of power and graft involved in the sale of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) land in Byram, in the Seberang Prai Selatan district, to UMECH Construction Sdn Bhd.

“Based on the expose by the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) and response by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, it is clear that the sale of the land has not gone through the open tender process. Also, the sale price is way below the market price:

“As such, we call on the state PAC and MACC to intervene and probe the matter,” he said.

Chow had said UMECH had been chosen as PDC’s collaborative partner to develop the new industrial area, and that the private company’s participation was a result of promotion done during the Dubai Expo 2020.

He had said the selection of UMECH was done according to due diligence procedures.

Chow had also defended the direct negotiation project as one of the methods to get the best offer.

The PCCC had recently raised questions on the awarding of the project through direct negotiations and why local companies were not given the opportunity in the project.

There were also questions raised that the land could have been transferred to a developer.

Oh said, previously, the Penang government had allocated land to the developer, responsible for the construction of the undersea tunnel, for housing purposes.

He said the houses have since completed but the undersea tunnel was nowhere to be seen.

“This affected the rights and benefit of the people (since it was state land).

“Now, the same thing is happening again, sacrificing the rights of the people. This is most disappointing,” he added.

According to Oh, the state Gerakan supports any institution or organisation which speaks up for the benefit of the people.

He claimed this was because the Penang Pakatan Harapan government, which has been in power for 15 years, no longer listened to or cared about issues raised by the opposition.

“This clearly shows that absolute power can lead to corruption and power abuse. We demand Chow to come clean on the sale of the land and not hide the truth,” he said.

Yesterday, Penang Muda alsodemanded that Chow come clean on the rationale behind the sale of 223.6ha of land to a private company.

State Muda information head Danial Abdul Majeed said he supported the PCCC’s action in questioning the sale.

Apart from the questionable direct negotiation process, he said the price of land sold at a very low rate was also a question that the Penang government needed to answer.

He alleged that PDC sold the land at a price of RM26.53 per square foot, when the market price could reach up to RM80 per square foot.

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