Press Statement by the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng in George Town on 13.11.2015
Barisan Nasional should concede the fact that their rule in Penang died and ended because of failed governance and lack of transparency, accountability and competency in running the Penang state administration. In terms of reclamation projects, I had revealed in the Penang State Assembly during my 2016 Penang State Budget presentation on 6 November 2015 that the Penang State Government had so far approved 60 acres of land for reclamation.
In comparison, the previous Barisan Nasional state government had reclaimed 3241 acres of land. I had not included 1120 acres reclaimed by PDC for industrial, commercial and housing purposes as this was to spur economic growth. If that 1120 acres had been included, Barisan Nasional would have approved 4361 acres which would be more than 72 times of what has been approved for reclamation by the present Pakatan Harapan-led State Government.
The difference between Barisan Nasional state government’s approval of 4361 acres of reclaimed land in contrast to the present State Government’s 60 acres lies not just in terms of the large disparity in terms of the land size of area reclaimed but also that the land reclaimed was either conducted without public open tenders or below market price. This can be seen by the fact that companies that were granted the reclamation projects either recorded extra-ordinary profits or the public failed to obtain any discernible benefit from these projects.
For instance, the land reclamation approval in Tanjung Pinang was granted at a shockingly low price of RM1 psf. The present State Government managed to improve the terms of the concession land by increasing the reclaimed land granted to the State Government from 10% to 20% after intensive negotiations with E&O.
As for the Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Highway project, favourable terms granted by the Barisan Nasional state government has enabled IJM Properties to rely on their reclaimed land in Penang as their principal and dominant profit generator. Hence, Barisan Nasional should concede that their lack of transparency and accountability in conducting the reclamation of the state lands had caused losses of revenues which otherwise could have benefitted the Penang people.
Furthermore, the 60 acres of reclaimed land that has been approved by the present Pakatan Harapan State Government has enabled the State Government to set up a RM500 Million fund for building affordable and public housing (22,515 units) as well as sports complexes of world class standards, including a velodrome, three basketball courts, an open public football field with international specifications and an international Olympic-sized swimming and diving pool. In contrast, for the 4361 acres approved by the Barisan Nasional state government, why did the Penangites not benefit in comparable terms equivalent to 72 times more?
Even if we compare in terms of money paid to the State Government, when the Pakatan Harapan Penang State Government sold 106.1 acres of land at Bayan Mutiara, we received a higher sum of RM1.1102 Billion compared to the 3661 acres by Barisan Nasional state government that only obtained a lesser amount of RM1.0586 Billion.
In other words, Barisan Nasional state government got less money even though they sold 36 times more land than the Pakatan Harapan State Government. This proves the benefit of the open competitive tenders and transparent governance practiced by the Pakatan Harapan Penang State Government as compared to the opaque and crony policy of the Barisan Nasional state government.
The State Government regrets that the Federal Government has marginalised Penang by refusing to approve any projects for Penang during the 2016 Federal Budget. Accordingly, the Penang State Government has to find other sources of revenue in order to ensure continued investment of infrastructure improvements, investment in education and investment in innovative enterprises to propel Penang’s economic growth towards high-income economy status. This would necessarily include future proposals for land reclamation that can optimise returns to the State Government without affecting sustainable development and also minimise environmental impact.
LIM GUAN ENG
相比起来，国阵前朝政府已经填了3241英亩的面积。我还没有将槟州发展机构为了工业、商业及住屋理由、刺激经济成长所填的1120英亩地段。如果加上这片1120英亩的填海地段，国阵可说时批准 了4361英亩的填海面积，比目前希望联盟政府批准 的填海面积超出72倍。
至于敦林苍佑高速大道计划，国阵政府所给予的特优条件，也让IJM Properties在得以利用槟城的填海成为下金蛋的金鹅。 因此，国阵应该承认，由于他们的不透明及没有问责能力，导致前朝州政府的填海工程方面亏掉收入，这些收入原本可以让人民受惠。