Abdul Rahman (right) said there was no clarification from the Penang government on the land sale of Bayan Mutiara. On the left is Tony Pua
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional lawmaker Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the DAP-led Penang government should prove their transparency in the Bayan Mutiara land sale as they had once demanded of the Queensbay project a few years ago.
Speaking to The Mole Abdul Rahman said: “It was not too long ago when the DAP was all over Gerakan (the party that was then leading the Penang government) when it converted the land status in Queensbay from leasehold to freehold.”
“Isn’t it funny that a few years after that, without any financial distress, the DAP-led State government decided to convert the Bayan Mutiara land to a freehold status.”
What’s worse Abdul Rahman added, “the State government even sold the land to a developer accorded with favourable conditions.”
“Why is that so?” he asked.
The Queensbay project was stalled in 1998 due to the currency crisis. It was only revived in 2003 when KL-based CP Group offered to complete the project in the same year before the land was converted from leasehold to freehold by the then Barisan Nasional state government.
In October 2008, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said in a news report his state government will not convert reclaimed land to freehold.
Abdul Rahman who is the BN MP for Kota Belud also raised several points in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday over the land sale but he claimed none of the opposition members gave any clarification.
He questioned on the relevance of selling the Bayan Mutiara land at the price of RM240 per square foot when another piece of land located 200 meters away was sold at RM 420 per square foot.
In response to his queries, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua said it was unfair to compare as the size of both land plots were different.
“Tony (Pua) said the RM 420 per square foot land only involved 10 acres. He proved my point. Why did the State government sell off the102 acres land, at a cheaper price when they can sell the smaller plot of land with a much higher price?” Abdul Rahman said.
Abdul Rahman who is also BN Sabah state secretary further said the State government should sell the land at a higher price to private developer Ivory Properties Group Bhd (IPGB) as two flyovers had already been built by the State government on the land as well.
“Bayan Mutiara is equipped with public road infrastructure. I don’t understand why (Penang Chief Minister) Lim Guan Eng served this “crown jewel of Penang” on a silver platter to the developer?” he asked.
Lim who is the MP for Bagan was not present during the parliament session.
Yesterday land law expert Prof Salleh Buang said people of Penang should apply for judicial review if they are not satisfied with the sale of land in Bayan Mutiara.
Salleh said it is the only way for Penangites to get the State Government to explain, including the conversion of the leasehold status of the reclaimed land to freehold before selling it off to private developer.