Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In George Town, Komtar On 13.11.2016.
First let me urge Penang branch of China Press to come clean and admit they made a mistake when publishing a written press statement issued by PDC General Manager Dato Rosli Jaafar, on the sale of PDC’s 49% stake Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB) for RM156 million to Q Islands Development Sdn Bhd (Q Islands), a company brought in by UDA Bhd. By refusing to admit the mistake, the Penang branch of China Press is adopting an unethical and unprofessional attitude that they can do no wrong.
Even copy and paste also, Penang branch of China Press can get it wrong.
Whilst the Penang branch of China Press can be partisan politically like the BN media in English and Malay newspapers, by choosing to highlight BN’s attacks against me and downplaying our response, they should respect the rule that “whilst opinions are free, facts are sacred”. This is the second time I am requesting the Penang branch of China Press to admit their wrongdoings and correct this false reporting. My request yesterday was not published in today’s China Press and I am compelled to put this on record in writing.
To avoid the BN media in both the non-Chinese and Chinese newspapers from using BN false attacks to twist and distort against the Pakatan Harapan’s state government on the sale of PDC’s 49% stake in TIRSB, let me summarise the key issues in writing:
1. In 1997, TIRSB was set up by both the BN Federal and BN state government with a paid-up capital of RM31.5 million. PDC had injected RM15.44 million into TIRSB for a 49% share whilst UDA contributed RM16.07 million for a 51% share. The BN state government had already surrendered control to the Federal government as early as 1997.
2. The BN State government in 2001 had then approved the award of 80 acres of leasehold land for 60 years (expiring in 2062) in Pulau Jerejak to TIRSB, at a price of RM12.95 million or RM3.71 per square feet(psf).
3. In 2001, the market value of the 80 acres of Pulau Jerejak land is RM47.6 million or RM13.65 psf. In other words the BN state government had sold the land nearly 4 times cheaper or at a loss of RM 34.6 million to TIRSB. This is 73% below the market price.
4. The land title was transferred to TIRSB by the then BN state government on January 3, 2001 even before the land premium of RM12.95 million had been fully paid. TIRSB only completed paying the balance RM10.60 million in owed land premium sometime in 2012, after we threatened to take back the land.
5. TIRSB was already making losses since 2001 and yet PDC gave out a loan of RM3.4 million to TIRSB on 28 December 2007, at an interest rate of 3.5% per annum. The loan principal and interest had increased to RM4.4 million by 2016.
6. UDA brought in Q Islands a subsidiary company of Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd(Ideal), to offer to buy out PDC’s 49% stake for RM156 million. UDA is the effective owner of TIRSB with 51% majority control. PDC cannot do anything without UDA’s consent. Unlike PDC, UDA can sell its shares without PDC’s consent. It is ridiculous for BN and Gerakan to claim that PDC can dictate terms to UDA with only 49% control.
7. PDC’s condition for the sale was that the RM4.4 million loan must be settled first and considered separately from the RM156 million sale price. This was accepted by UDA and the RM4.4 million loan was fully paid up in April 2016.
8. TIRSB had incurred losses of RM40 million as at end of 2015, and was no longer financially viable. Therefore, PDC agreed to the sale for its 49% stake in TIRSB for RM156 million. The 10% deposit for RM15.6 million has also been paid and received by PDC. Payment will be made over a period of 8 years. PDC shares will only be transferred after full payment is made in 2024.
9. In other words, PDC will receive a total of RM160.4 million. With this equity sale, PDC will recover its cost of investment of RM15.44 million, together with the shareholders’ loan and interest of RM4.4 million which has also been paid. PDC will make a profit of RM 140.6 million.
10. The development plans submitted by UDA over the 80 acres must observe environmental safeguards and comply with Environment Impact Assessment(EIA) requirements. For instance, the bridge linking to Pulau Jerejak will not allow cars and vehicles to cross to Pulau Jerejak.
11. The heritage buildings, especially the famous prison camp, will be retained and restored. There will a 11.5km round island cycling track and the remaining part of the island will be gazetted as a forest reserves.
12. Gerakan’s claims of the Pakatan state government approving the building of a casino is untrue . In fact it is UMNO Padang Besar MP who supported the call for building a casino in Penang, a suggestion that is rejected by the Pakatan state government.
The Pakatan state government took 8 long years of determined insistence of protecting the rights of the people of Penang over Pulau Jerejak, to finally secure this transaction that is fair and favourable.
Once again the Pakatan state government had rehabilitated and saved a failed BN project as well as recouped our investment, loans and losses. Not only did we recoup back our RM4.4 million loan and the amount invested of RM15.44 million by selling for RM156 million. We also disposed off our 49% stake in a loss-making company, TIRSB with RM 40 million losses, to secure a profit of RM140.6 million that is nearly 10 times over our initial investment.
This is clear case of sour grapes when Gerakan attacks the sale because they failed to do what we have done by recouping the RM15.44 million investment and the RM4.4 million loan. Despite this remarkable turnaround of also recording a profit of RM140.6 million that is nearly 10 times the amount invested, Gerakan and BN Penang continues to attack us for selling out on Pulau Jerejak to the BN Federal Government. Are they not part of BN?
More importantly Gerakan should be ashamed of themselves for selling out Pulau Jerejak as early as 1997. This is a classic case of a “thief shouting thief”! A tragic end after 20 long years has somehow been avoided by the Pakatan state government. Whilst the Pakatan state government does not need Gerakan to thank us for recouping our investments, loans and losses, Gerakan should apologise to the people of Penang for acting against public interest when they sold out to TIRSB in 1997.
LIM GUAN ENG
1. Tropical Island Resort私人有限公司经是在1997年，由联邦政府及州政府联手创立，当时的缴足资本为3150万令吉。PDC挹注了1544万令吉在TIRSB，占49%股权；另一方面，UDA则投入1607万令吉，握有51%股权。 国阵州政府早在1997年，已经将有关的控制权交给联邦政府。
2. 2001年，国阵州政府批准了一块位于木蔻山占地80英亩的66年地契（至2062年）予TIRSB，时价为1295万令吉（也即是每平方尺3令吉71仙 ）。
4. 更出人意表的是，国阵州政府于2001年1月3日，在还未收齐1295万令吉全款，就将地契转移给TIRSB。TIRSB 在我们恫言“若不付还购地之余额，我们将收回有关的地皮”后，才于2012年偿还所有的1060万令吉欠款。
6. 城市发展机构控股有限公司（UDA）将宏升產业（Ideal ）之子公司Q Islands带入，以1亿5600万令吉献购槟州发展机构（PDC）之49%股权。UDA 是TIRSB的有效持有人，因为他们掌控了51%的多数股权。槟州发展机构在没有获得UDA的同意下，是不可以做任何的事的。与PDC不同的是， UDA可以在无需征求PDC同意的情况下，将其股权出售。因此， 国阵及民政党声称PDC可以凭49%的拥股权而指示UDA是可笑的。
8. 截2015年杪，TIRSB所面对的亏损为4000万令吉， 而且在财政上已经几乎不可行了。因此，槟州发展机构同意以1亿5600万令吉，将其在TIRSB的49%股权出让。PDC目前已收到1560万令吉或10%的抵押金，有关余款将分8年偿还，换言之，PDC的股权会在2024年对方偿清余额后，才会转移到他们的名下。