Keeping alive the ‘compensation’ bogey…

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You would have thought that law professor Gurdial Singh’s statement and Penang Appeals Board chairman Yeo Yang Poh’s remarks would have been enough to lay to rest the Ghost of Compensation Present.

This is what Yang Poh said, published in the Malay Mail on 13 March 2016:

Penang need not pay land compensation with appeals board nod, chief says

By Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, March 14 — Penang’s state appeals board chairman Datuk Yeo Yang Poh gave an assurance today the state government is not in danger of forking out billions of ringgit in compensation as a result of disputed land development.

He said the government would be spared so long as the state appeals board agrees to set aside planning permission that had been approved by the city council.

“So if the board sets aside previously approved planning permission, there is no question of compensation at all,” Yeo said in his speech at the opening of an appeals board seminar at Olive Tree Hotel here.

He said there was a misconception that the board’s decision will lead to the state paying compensation to developers, due to Section 25 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

Under Section 25, once the city council granted planning permission to a developer and later revoke it due to public interest, the developer will then be entitled to some compensation.

The decision by the appeals board is separate from Section 25 as any decisions made by the board is part of a statutory scheme.

However, Yeo admitted that the board’s decisions can still be subjected to judicial review, but stressed that the issue of compensation does not arise.

“If our decision is upheld, what compensation can they talk about? If it’s overturned, they can proceed with the project, so either way, the issue of compensation does not arise at all,” Yeo told reporters later when asked to clarify.

He pointed out that these are processes set out in the Act by Parliament so there was no issue of compensation when the process is being carried out and implemented.

When asked about the state government’s insistence that it may still be liable to pay compensation to the developer, Yeo held firmly to his views.

“I hold a different view, I think the confusion may be due to Section 25 but my view is that no issue of compensation can arise at all,” he said.

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Recently, the appeals board decided that the Penang Island Municipal Council (MBPP) did not need to approve the development order sought by Sunway Sdn Bhd for their land that is above 76 metres.

The developer’s land was labelled as a “special project” and was allowed development of either six units per acre or 15 units per acre by the previous government.

The Appeals Board also stated that MBPP need not pay compensation for rejecting the special project.

Fearing it may be forced to pay billions of ringgit in compensation for these projects approved by the previous administration, the Pakatan Harapan Penang government engaged Universiti Malaya Law Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar and prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan to assist in handling the court cases.

Yang Poh’s view should have been the last word. It is as clear as you can get, enough to dispel fear of the Ghost of Compensation Present.

The state government for some reason felt compelled to respond. A statement on 15 March tried to keep alive the fear of having to pay compensation. The cases cited, however, appear to have little to do with special projects. The Boustead case, for instance, appears to be in an entirely different context. But here they are, all conflated to keep alive the compensation bogey.

Prof. Gurdial Singh Nijar A/L Sadu Singh And Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan Appointed To Assist The Penang State Government And Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang(MBPP) To Uphold The Appeals Board Decision So As To Avoid Paying Huge Compensation For MBPP’s Decisions That Reject Development For Land Above 76 Meters(250 Feet) Or Throwing Out Special Projects That Were Approved By The Previous Government.(e/c)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town On 15.3.2016.

The Penang state government welcomes the Penang’s state appeals board chairman Dato Yeo Yang Poh’s assurance that billions of ringgit in compensation need not be paid by the state government as a result of disputed land development so long as any planning permission by MBPP is set aside by the Appeals Board. However Dato Yeo admitted that the Appeals Board decision is still subjected to judicial review

The Penang state government has appointed University Malaya Prof. Gurdial Singh Nijar A/L Sadu Singh and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan to assist the Penang state government and MBPP to uphold the Appeals Board Decision so as to avoid paying huge compensation for MBPP’s decisions that reject development for land above 76 meters(250 feet) or throwing out special projects that were approved by the previous government. This follows the latest decision made by Dato Yeo Yang Poh, the Chairman of the Appeals Board, established under the Town & Country Planning Act on the Sunway Bhd case.

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The Appeals Board’s decision indicated that MBPP did not need to approve the development order sought by Sunway Bhd for their land above 76 meters, that were allowed development of either 6 units per acre or 15 units per acre by the previous government. The Appeals Board also decided that compensation need not be paid by MBPP for rejecting such special projects’ application from landowners.

As this Appeals Board decision can be subject to judicial review by the High Court. Sunway Bhd and other landowners affected by this decision has 90 days to do so, Sunway Bhd has communicated to me of their intention to do so. Sunway may also seek compensation, should the Appeals Board decision be affirmed by the High Court. This gives MBPP an opportunity to overturn the special projects approved given by the previous state government without paying financial compensation.

The high-powered legal expertise of both Professor Gurdial and Datuk Ambiga will assist the state government legally when the judicial review is argued in the High Court, in what is expected to be the case of the century for planning law in Malaysia.

Two Recent High Court Cases Highlights The Potentially Huge Compensation Payout Faced By The Present Penang State Government Involving Hundreds Of Millions Of Ringgit Due To Failures Of The Previous BN State Government.

The Penang state government wishes to highlight two recent High Court cases which reveals the potentially huge compensation payout faced by the present Penang state government involving hundreds of millions of ringgit due to criminal failures of the previous BN state government.

The two recent cases involve one in Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai(MPSP) in 1994 known as the NEG Engineering Sdn Bhd case involving a huge RM 243 million claim whilst the second one is against the state government on a land acquisition matter in 1992 known as the Bagan Serai Housing Estate Sdn Bhd case on the present Megamall complex site in Prai, Seberang Perai. MPSP was fortunate to win the NEG Engineering Sdn Bhd case which involved an active politician who was a leader in the previous government, but there is a possibility that they may appeal. Reports have also been filed by MPSP to the police and Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission(MACC).

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Unfortunately the Penang state government lost the second case, the Megamall case, and is appealing to the Court of Appeal involving potential compensation that could be similar to NEG Engineering Sdn Bhd. This Megamall case is similar to the state government losing on another land matter in Bukit Mertajam due to an error by the previous state government, resulting in compensation of RM 29.4 million to Tang Hak Ju. The state government was forced to pay RM 14.7 million and is still trying to reclaim back the sum in courts.

Again Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang(MBPP) was forced to pay RM 20 million compensation to Boustead Holdings Bhd to reduce the height of their hotel from 12 storeys approved by the previous government to 5 storeys. This RM20 million payment was made in exchange for reducing the height of the building by 7 storeys, to comply with the promise made to UNESCO, but not fulfilled by the previous government, that all buildings in the George Town Heritage area would not exceed 5 storeys or 18 meters.

The present Penang state government leaves in daily fear and nightmare of facing huge compensation payouts due to the failures of the previous BN state government that can bankrupt the state. When compensation was paid by the state government, no one offered or raised a single cent to assist us despite sweet promises made by some NGOs. The threat of bankruptcy is real. For this reason, the Penang state government has unwillingly acceded to all previous rulings made by the BN state government to avoid huge compensation payout that can bankrupt Penang.

One of the potential threats is compensation claims by landowners above 76 meters who were approved development as special projects by the previous state government, which may run up to billions of ringgit.

LIM GUAN ENG

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64 Comments on "Keeping alive the ‘compensation’ bogey…"

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Swat
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Swat

The LGE’s undervalued house purchase now has a good “fight-back” point as that Taman Mangis was worn by a highest bidder of RM11 miliions ! Evidence of no sidelining of any other even higher bidder ! It’s therefore no case of corruption ipso facto !?

Jelutong Kid
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Jelutong Kid

Gerakan offered Taman Manggis as low cost home location and still lost the state election. So DAP now has the right to decide how to use the land. Personally that piece of land is too small for public housing and will contribute to traffic congestion if low cist home is built there, knowing that every household in Penang, regardless of household income, has at least 2 vehicles.

Utopia
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Utopia

Guan Eng: Tanah Taman Manggis tidak akan dijual

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Then how come the proposed hospital comes into the picture?
Don’t tell us you don’t know this is gomen land for low cost housing.
The land is not big enough for low-cost housing? when the state gomen allows for increased density to developers?
Btw, where is the Penang Local Plan so that you get to see every inch of Penang for what purpose?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Jelutong is always congested. Don’t talk as if other places are not fit for low cost housing.
Btw, Taman Manggis was already ear marked for low cost housing, which CAT decided to take away for more money-making ventures. What a way to social engineer the bo-bin-chui to mainland b’cos Penang Island is for the rich & famous.

Utopia
Guest
Utopia

Ask yourself why Ah Jib’s Bandar Malaysia could not be Kampung Malaysia – low cost homes for poor people in KL?

looes74
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looes74

Meanwhile In Selangor…….I am wondering if DAP can protest against Azmin Ali’s government by abstaining from voting for azmin’s government in dun………

What is Anil’s stand on this? Nothing to do with me…….

Now I wonder why ktemoc survives so long

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/334502

P.S : It’s the same………..anil

tunglang
Guest
tunglang
Want To Know? Only Lim uses PR1MA as benchmark for ‘affordable’ homes FMT News: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is the only person who uses PR1MA as a benchmark to determine the maximum selling price of affordable homes in Penang, said Abdul Rahman Dahlan. In a statement, the urban wellbeing, housing and local government minister pointed out that no other state used the same benchmark. Rahman said Lim should realise that the other state governments set lower prices for affordable homes, based on their respective needs and requirements. “If it’s true the prices were based on PR1MA homes, why… Read more »
Swat
Guest
Swat

Now PKR youth is accusing LGE as a dictator ?
Don’t know how Penangites feel ?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

If you are in Ground Zero, you will definitely feel the same.
No need for apologetic worshipping (of venerable idol) beyond common sense or still in 308 euphoria of self-deception.
What is excess of political leadership should be tackled before it becomes an obsession of a ballooning ego.

Utopia
Guest
Utopia

Beli rumah RM2.8 juta, KM pelawa Shabudin Yahaya bersemuka

Swat
Guest
Swat

Now another hot issue pop up ?
Ask the seller to come out to clarify also lah !

Humble
Guest
Humble

Very hot weather but lucky got shopping mall give free air cond to my family this holiday.
Poor man like me cannot afford air conditioning at home for my family.

zoro
Guest
zoro

Indirect social work by owner helping less fortunate and pass the time watching people passing by and events held? Who would not do it if they have time. Unless like flower people prefer soaking in the sun to burn the skin.

lim
Guest

Humble, that is called being smart ! Yes, by all means go to the mall and enjoy free aircon, why not ?

Siam Boy
Guest
Siam Boy

Khir Toyol bought for 3 million LESS THAN THE FIRST OWNER PAID. At least in Tokong’s case the price went up. Hence it’s not a comparable case. Google “Khir Ditamas” to see the difference.

Utopia
Guest
Utopia

LGE opened his RM2.8 million home for media inspection today (Sunday):

Sittingstink
Guest
Sittingstink

Open house for all to see ? Is that a joke ?
It’s akin to when one was asked for a very general question of wrong doing, you immediately take off all your cloths to show you did not steal anything ??

Sugu
Guest
Sugu

All BN minsters should open their personal homes to media for inspection.

Swat
Guest
Swat

LGE can easily quash off the “cheaper” accusation by citing the element of Chinese belief in feng shui which can make a big difference to value. I know of a case in Hilltop bungalow Batu Ferringhi – a nice bungalow was going for a song by 40% less !

Pritam
Guest
Pritam

Anil
High density development is not allowed by you.
Building homes on hills also not allowed.
Sea reclamation also not allowed.
Clearing of old villages/squatters also you object.

So, how and where to build new homes on Penang island?
Care to explain?

zoro
Guest
zoro

Anil, where can state Gomen build massive housing on state land in Penang island? Can rich Penang forum member sell his land on discount to perform social work? Was there a very big tussle with dwellers when gerakan Gomen demolish houses to build public housing about 30 years ago? Can Penang forum members give suggestions and areas for state Gomen to site public housing since cutting hills and land reclamation is opposed? Otherwise anti cat with tail down is asking goen to build castle in the air

zoro
Guest
zoro

Lucky those lower income group to have sea view if public housing take place there. All developers will laugh. Rest of Penang lang will be envy. They work very hard and pay higher price to see wong fei hoong inns. Other in older estate are living in half hill jungle like kl pudu.

Sittingstink
Guest
Sittingstink

Now the question is WHO keeps lying ? Rahman Dahlan is accusing LGE for lying big time and must we get to know the liar in the first place ?

Siam Boy
Guest
Siam Boy

The Housing Ministry should look at its own RM400,000 ceiling price of its PR1MA affordable homes (media reports in April 2015) despite joint ventures with private developers to build affordable homes in Malaysia before demonising the leadership of the Penang government.

Zuan
Guest
Zuan

Be careful as BN can use its ‘laws’ and provisions from the previous Gerakan to press charges against the present state government.

zoro
Guest
zoro

the developer has no right to go to court for judical review? so the appeal board become the supreme judge of penang. is this what penang forum trying to say?

Tabik Kopi O
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Tabik Kopi O

#LiveInSimplicity should be the tagline for environmental/financial conscious anilnetto.com readers.
Now retrenchment could be the 1 year anniversary GST gift many struggling corporate or SME as way out to sustain businesses; so more important for simple folks to enjoy every sip of coffee.
Salute.

Utopia
Guest
Utopia

The Graduates Tracker Study system has indicated a total of 54,867 graduates were unemployed in 2015 in the period of three months before convocation. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the number translated to 23.9% out of the 229,568 graduates surveyed in the graduates’ employability study.
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1731767

Good time for them to take up 3D jobs?

zoro
Guest
zoro

just side track. more than 1 million miners out of work in north china due to over capacity.

Pritam
Guest
Pritam

Yes, today’s front page headline on The Sun sends ships down my spine as 2016 will see more retrenchment. I fear for many of my friend whose salary is barely enough to sustain monthly expenses after taking huge loans on housing and cars. Jibby’s government is not giving confidence to investors despite all the claims on the state-controlled media. Better save for rainy days (no pun intended despite the current hot spell).

ong eu soon
Guest
ong eu soon
Boustead Compenasation Scandal Soon after taking over the helm as Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng has unwittedly let himself embroiled in a controversy where he initially refused to abide by the height restriction of 18 metres or five storey on buildings within the core and buffer zones after Unesco regional adviser for the Asia-Pasific Dr Richard Engelhardt said George Town had no choice but to follow the guidelines approved by the WHC. Lim Guan Eng argued that the state government would be subject to legal action by the developers if his administration now revoked the approvals which were… Read more »
Tabik Kopi O
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Tabik Kopi O

Return of Ah Soon in anilnetto.com signals the emergence of 3rd force in Penang circuit?
Some say Ah Soon was affiliated to Gerakan, some say PCM, now some say he is new Ikatan guy.
To clear confusion, we only have to hear from him.
Bring it out?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang
Ask you why there emerges many ‘forces’ against a state leadership (gone arrogant?)??? Not withstanding the rapid frenzied development that favours a few rather than the masses. It is not a phenomena (of a hidden agenda), neither a conspiracy (to topple a boasting CAT). It is an expression of disgust against a leadership (not all state reps are bad guys) which has no heart for the betterment of every Penangite regardless of status & environment. Against the twist & turns & lies. See for yourself, the leadership style & lifestyle: arrogance (my ways, not yours) self agrandisement (MercS300Lansi, big mansion)… Read more »
Rosysam
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Rosysam

All Court cases involving the State Government are all handled by the State Legal Advisor, who is a senior legal man from the Attorney General,s Chambers. Why blame the CM? Cases can be won and lost for all kinds of reasons out here!

zoro
Guest
zoro

no komtar must bow and listen to those shouting anti cat. their advice is liken to queen counsel must listen and state legal advisor is invisible even penang lang pay his salary and not make him work.

zoro
Guest
zoro

Who is the godfather and bigger ego than komtar to tell fellow blogger to come and see him? Who talk about traffic jam but driving a4wd with monkey bar and take personal action to clamp komtar car?

zoro
Guest
zoro

please go ahead and do it otherwise another paper tiger. the penang state legal advisor maybe involved in giving good advice.

Rosysam
Guest
Rosysam
The Appeals Board is simply what it is, deciding on appeals based on planning and development principals. There is nothing to stop evil developers who have obtained approvals from the pervious administration to appeal to the Courts. As the CM has explained above ” The present Penang state government leaves in daily fear and nightmare of facing huge compensation payouts due to the failures of the previous BN state government that can bankrupt the state.” Millions had already been paid. Don’t forget this money is the people’s money paid not for goods and services that benefit the public, but for… Read more »
james k
Guest
james k

Yeo seems to be implying that he and his board is so powerful that their decisions can not be challenged in court. Are his words credible? It raises even more questions.

Did all ongoing court cases went through the state appeals board? Especially those that we lost?

Were there any precedent cases in other states? Or even here in Penang, for that matter?

We will see what unfolds with the current cases now that Gurdial and Ambiga is on board…

Tabik Kopi O
Guest
Tabik Kopi O

James K
There is sheltered bus stand opposite sPICE outside Arena/Olive Tree for buses traveling to downtown.
However, there is no sheltered bus stands in front of SPICE for buses moving towards Sunshine Square, Airport, Balik Pulau direction.
I speak for many who wait dangerously by roadside every morning waiting for Bus 401E to work at airport as SPSetia only concern with their logo there and have failed in its simple CSR effort.

Tua Pai Kiah
Guest
Tua Pai Kiah

Good if Anil’s readers who read above can get the responsible party to get the bus stop stands up asap.

Also will be good if the residents of the area (Bayan Baru?) report to their ADUN (Dr Jayabalan of PKR) otherwise things remain status quo. If they fail to do something, then call up or write to Chief Minister office and i bet something can happen by then.

zoro
Guest
zoro

ah jib gomen rapid bus operator unable to build a simple bus stop? cant get a commercial sponsor like genting who donates miliions to do it?

henson
Guest
henson
Legal matter created by humans, and can be altered by humans as not cast in stone. Legal and accounting matter can always confuse the public with its own technical jargons; and hence create opportunities for many professionals to make livings and thus can afford overpriced condos. Simple folks like me only wish we can live in simplicity, breath in fresh non over-carbonised air and eat moderately not fanciful cosmo-fushion dishes hyped up not to nutritionise the body but in actual fact burn up the pocket calories. Go for 30sen+ 3-in-1 kopi o kau kau (various brands available now) to energise… Read more »
tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Cheers Kopi-O kau kau & Keep Calm + Cool + Level Headed.
Too much knee-jerk is bad for the knees!..
Better to tolerate others’ differences than to be ‘on Bangla fire of incoherent’.
Comment & debate with some logic, not parroting from some imaginable like LPs, etc.
And pls come to Penang to see first hand on the ground evidences.
Walk around & avoid driving a Merc S300Lansi, which will render your senses numb & compassion clouded by bin-chui aura of self-deception.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Wa Lou, we now got many Kopi-O kau kau drinkers here!
Anil should join the ‘crowd’ not to be drown by a CAT Troller babbling incoherents ala Bangla!

lim
Guest

I really enjoy all of your kopi o kau kau !!!

I prefer beer though in this super hot weather.

Cheers guys,

zoro
Guest
zoro

good you change to beer instead kopi kau kau otherwise make you blow water and kau beh kau bu. drink black beer make a real man. kopi kau kau never do it like clamp car or go up komtar but loves to drive 4wd with monkey bar around town

Tabik Kopi O
Guest
Tabik Kopi O

Lim
GUINESS Stout now expensive with more tax.
Cheers to you anyway.
Today n tomorrow same hot going for honey green tea, and enjoy mall Air con .

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Lu kong ha mi lan?

Zuan
Guest
Zuan

Also remember to avoid (fast food) chickens unless you want additional dose of antibiotics, as warned by CAP. Cheers Kopi SuperBest Kau Kau!

zoro
Guest
zoro

cheers kopi kau kau welcome to flower people tourist in wong fei hoong inns. rich tourists are not welcome as there are no 4 stars facilities.
never mind penang people can fly air asia chip chip because we have wong hei hoong facilites only and no international standards here.. we do not want international standards. no exhibition halls, conference rooms, roads, airport etc. we have many bangladeshis and burmese works. the facilities, roads, and accommodation etc are first class for them. we love to travel by air asia and enjoy exhibition, conferences in world cities or go to kl.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang
Cheers Kopi-O kau kau! Drink in moderation as Kopi-O is a bit heaty for the body. Go to Gurney Drive end (in front of Gurney One) where the iconic beach is FREE to meditate for health & serenity in its last days before it is cemented up for worse. Now the roundabout end is already fenced up, the good chi factor is filtered by Greed for Money, Non-Competency, Greener My Foot Promises, & the relentless pursuit of one’s legacy of icons no different from Twin Tower (of MadHatter) & the now in progress Merdeka PNB118 (of Naik Jeep). Live in… Read more »