Penang government must provide itemised breakdown of land sales, profits since 2008


So we now know that the Penang Development Corporation, a state government agency, sold land parcels for proceeds totalling RM1.9bn from 2008 to 2015.

But PDC recorded a “net profit” of only RM147m after deducting RM1.8bn for “land acquisition, development costs over the land in providing infrastructure and holding costs” (see below).

As questions have been raised over land sales, the state government must provide an itemised listing of the PDC land sales totalling RM1.9bn: date sold, selling price per square foot, size/area, location, buyers, the market prices at the time, and payment terms.

[The state government should provide a separate listing of its own land sales totalling RM1.1bn – or is it RM658m (see figures in press statement below dated 4 January 2017)? So are we talking about RM2.5bn-3bn in land sales in total by both the state government and PDC?]

It must also give an itemised breakdown of the original cost/net book value in PDC’s books of those plots sold. Did the land acquisition etc cost of RM1.8bn relate entirely to the plots sold or were they new plots acquired (in which case they should be capitalised as assets and not included in the calculation of profit on disposal)? (A separate listing must be provided showing the breakdown of the original cost/net book value of the plots of land sold by the state government.)

I am wondering about this because PDC’s surplus on all its land sales is just RM147m.

In one land deal alone, PDC sold 103 acres of Bayan MutiaPDra land to Ivory Properties in 2012 . This land alone was sold for RM1.1bn on generous terms of seven instalments over five years, with the last instalment now said to be due in November 2017.

The Bayan Mutiara payment schedule in 2012

Ivory then entered into a joint venture with Dijaya Corporation (now known as Tropicana) to develop the land. Vincent Tan’s brother Danny had a 31 per cent stake in Dijaya, according to the firm’s 2010 Annual Report.

How much was the original cost/net book value of the Bayan Mutiaras land in PDC’s books at the time of the sale and what was PDC’s profit on this particular disposal?

How did PDC end up with only RM147m total profit for all its land sales? There is just not enough information to make sense of these figures.

On another note, PDC should never have sold the Bayan Mutiara land to a private developer lock, stock and barrel. Instead it could have sold just a small portion and retained the rest for public amenities such as a people’s park and plenty of affordable housing for workers in the area.

READ MORE:  Flashback: KL Eco City - SP Setia's deal with Umno foundation raises questions

This was Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement on 16 December 2016:

I wish to correct the misrepresentation given by some BN-controlled newspapers that Penang Development Corporation earned RM 1.7 billion from selling land since 2008. This is untrue. From 2008-2015, PDC sold RM 1.94 billion worth of land for industrial and mixed development purposes. PDC recorded a net profit of RM 147 million from the land sales of RM 1.94 billion.

The cost involved of RM1.8 billion relates to land acquisition, development costs over the land in providing infrastructure and holding costs. PDC will continue to use the RM 147 million profits for economic development to make Penang as a location of choice for investors, a destination of choice for tourists and a habitat of choice for a livable city.

PDC has to also lead the charge to make Penang to participate actively in the 4th Industrial Revolution of Big Data Analytics, cloud computing, Internet of Things and e-commerce. PDC’s profits would have been higher if PDC is allowed to sell the land at a higher price. However PDC cannot do so because it has to perform its statutory duty of bringing in new factories to generate job and business opportunities for Penang as well as attract retail outlets like IKEA and premium retail outlets, universities and hospitals to grow the services sector and tourism.

Another press statement by the chief minister on 4 January 2017:

No wonder Malaysia’s economy is in a state of crisis if we are led by dummies pretending to know accounting or Malaysians facing a water rationing crisis with Syarikat Perkhidmatan Air Negara(SPAN) led by Liang Teck Meng! I had wanted to ignore Gerakan Secretary-General and MP for Simpang Renggam Liang Teck Meng for his childish and irresponsible statement questioning Penang’s undoubted success in recording annual budget surpluses, with total accumulated surplus of RM574 million since 2008.

However I feel duty-bound to expose Liang’s wild lies and school him to the truth of the state government’s factual figures, fully supported by the certification of the Auditor-General’s annual reports. Hopefully Liang can be schooled to understand some basic accounting principles.

One, Liang is confused between the accounts of the Penang state government, Penang Development Corporation(PDC), local authorities Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang and Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai. These are different and separate accounts and cannot be mixed up together as one. Liang mixes them up to try to claim that the state government sold more land than the RM 658 million recorded since 2008. Mixing them up is wrong and the Auditor-General separates them just as the Federal government accounts are separated from TNB, PNB or Tabung Haji.

READ MORE:  Hefty pay rise for Penang ExCo members, Aduns: Report

Two, Liang cannot blindly include the sale of assets belonging to PDC as part of the state government’s revenue. Doing so is wrong when the assets do not belong to the state government unless Liang wants to invent a new system of accounting understood only by him.

Three, Liang claimed that the state government sold Bayan Mutiara state land and land reclamation rights in 2011 for RM1.07 billion, but why only RM658 million was recorded for the period between 2008-2015. I had explained many times that full payment was not paid in 2011 but paid progressively over a period of 6 years. Final payment will only be made by 10.11.2017. Clearly Liang does not understand the difference between cash and accrual system of accounting.

Four, Liang questioned how the state government can still record a surplus when our annual operating spending now has jumped three-fold from RM283 million in 2008. Liang should be praising us for our success in still recording a surplus despite our spending increasing by 3 times due clearly to CAT administration of competency, accountability and transparency. Cost containment is achieved through open competitive tender that gives us the best pricing, efficiency savings and clean leadership where public money is not stolen through corruption scandals like BN. There are no RM52 billion 1MDB or USD 1 billion donation scandals in Penang. Penang state government’s revenue are fees and quit rent based on land. It is shocking that BN leaders can be so ignorant as to ask whether assessment rates are included when that is collected throughout Malaysia by local governments MBPP or MPSP. Penang’s annual budget surplus is unquestioned and an undoubted fact, when it is certified by the annual Auditor-General Reports. Or is Liang even questioning the veracity of the Auditor-General Reports in his desperate attempt to frame up the state government?

Five, Liang explained that the BN state government sold 36 times more land(3,661 acres) than the present state government(106.1 acres) but yet received less money(BN’s RM1,058 million compared to Pakatan’s RM1,110 million) because the BN state government was selling both land and land reclamation rights whereas Pakatan was only selling land. This is untrue because Bayan Mutiara land sold by the present state government involved both land and land reclamation rights. Land reclamation rights at Bayan Mutiara was sold at RM 240 per square feet by the present state government through open competitive tender whereas Tanjung Pinang land reclamation rights was sold by BN at only RM 1 per square feet because there was no open competitive tender.

READ MORE:  1MDB probe now touches on link to White House

I wish to assert that Penang would have recorded RM1,074 million in accumulated surplus since 2008 if RM500 million had not been allocated for the Public & Affordable Housing Fund. This RM500 million Public & Affordable Housing Fund was taken out of the RM658 million in land sales by the state government, clearly showing that land sales was not the reason for the annual surpluses of the state government.

Since 2008, Penang has recorded accumulated budget surpluses of RM574 million over the last 8 years, which is more than what BN achieved over the last 50 years they ruled Penang from 1957-2007 of RM373 million. The Penang state government received a total revenue of RM4,947 million since 2008. Land sales revenue since 2008 amounted to RM658 million or 13% of the total revenue of RM4,947 million.

Out of the land sales revenue of RM658 million, the state government had allocated RM500 million for the Public and Affordable Housing Fund to build low cost, low-medium cost and houses below RM300,000/-. In other words, since 2008 only RM158 million was available as contribution towards accumulated surplus of RM574 million, and towards establishing a welfare state where over RM400 million has been paid out as cash payments to 1.6 million Penangites and schools. Or hundreds of millions of ringgit for development purposes to build public infrastructure.

There is no special maths employed by the present state government as claimed by Liang, as all these figures are verified, acknowledged and certified by the annual Auditor-General Reports. There is only clean and honest accounting. The public can judge who can be trusted to save the Malaysian economy and prevent our children’s future from being stolen.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.


  1. The Penang Govt in 2011 said that they had sold 41.5ha of land in Bayan Mutiara – of which 27.3ha are existing land and 14.2ha are to be reclaimed. The price then was RM1.07b or RM240psf.

    As I understand it, the contract said minimum of 14.2ha to be reclaimed.

    However, a recent report has shown two things:

    1. The buyer will now reclaim 24.7 ha instead of 14.2ha. Based on agreement, this should increase the price to be paid to the Penang Govt to RM1.343 billion instead of the original RM1.07b.

    2. The reclamation cost of RM200m for 24.7 ha works out to be RM75psf – relatively cheap as this confirms the sea there is quite shallow and easy to reclaim.

    Can the Penang Government now confirm:

    1) Who gave approval to almost double the size to be reclaimed from 14.2ha to 24.7ha? Did the Penang govt inform the public via a statement about this increase?

    2) Did the increase in land reclamation rights increase the payments to the Penang govt from RM1.07 billion to RM1.343 billion – an increase of RM336 million?

  2. Seven things to avoid if you are a corrupt public official
    SATIRE Now that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has declared all-out war against corrupt public officials, it may be time for those who have crossed the line to watch their step.

    • Goes to show who is the target market, PRC Chinese or Johoreans.
      If Hang Jebat is still alive & around today, he might not hesitate to correct the situation.

      • “Next to Singapore” is Country Garden’s publicity slogan for the massive project in the second largest city in Malaysia, commercials for the project can been seen in metro stations in China’s major cities and national television, showcasing its forest-like design.

        Forest City is just one example of how the property buying spree of Chinese investors has extended to Southeast Asia. As China’s currency weakens and the growth rate of China’s domestic real estate market slows down, more and more Chinese buyers are now buying properties abroad, and the relatively affordable houses in Southeast Asia are their latest choice.

        Chinese property demand is set to soar in Southeast Asia, according to a report by, a website which introduces foreign properties to Chinese buyers. “From super luxury apartments in Singapore’s CBD to seaside houses in Thai villages, the diversified properties in Southeast Asia can satisfy buyers with various budgets and motivations,” Jan Kot, Greater China region general manager of, told the Global Times.

        Statistics from show that inquiries about properties in Malaysia soared 193 percent in the first 11 months this year from the same period last year, with page views of Malaysian properties listed online growing 52.4 percent. The average price of Malaysian properties searched for by Chinese buyers hovers at around US$225,000.

  3. The only way Penang State Government can answer this call by Anil satisfactorily is by revealing figures in such details that no other government agencies has ever attempted. PDC’s audited report has very clear summarised numbers but what Anil is asking here is seriously something else (even more details).

    Penang State Government has done it a few times before, by revealing numbers either ahead of time, or providing breakdown that’s normally not required to be revealed… Maybe LGE will do it again this time… But no matter how many times he does it… after the numbers are out…. the attention will just shift to another issue demanding for crazy details…

    • I beg to differ. Details of RM1.9bn land sales and the breakdown of RM1.8bn in costs are not crazy details. I am sure not a few are wondering why the surplus on the disposal of all that land is so small. People also want to know how many others got five-year instalment payment terms.

      Are the PDC audited reports online – could you share the link?

    • The Penang government is unlikely to provide full details, just like the federal government has OSA to conceal its own secret not for public consumption. Therefore no obligation under the present practices of Malaysian politics.

      • So, because the federal gov is practicing as such, therefore the state gov is obliged to follow it?

        Are you implying that Pakatan should follow BN’s lead in terms of governance?

      • are state matters also oso under OS? you mean MACC cannot do anything to state if pandi wants???

      • Then what is Transparency?
        To Shiok Penangites…?

  4. Big scale residential projects including reclamation of land is happening in big cities in Malaysia: Johor and Melaka, not just Penang. It gives impression that Malaysia is welcoming foreigners to make their second home here. However the adverse impact is housing price has gone up beyond the affordability of average Malaysians, who may have to move to smaller towns for cheaper options.

      • Build for profit$, spill-over effects some say job creation e.g. Condo house furnishing decor business held almost once every 2 months at Spice Convention Centre. Also free dwellings for spirits of anotherdimention flocking to fill up vacant units to create ying yang equilibrium?

      • Those foreign buyers are using their laundered black money to buy properties here?

      • Anil, the supply & demand equation is not balancing according to the decent law of economics:
        1) Artificial demands brought about by speculations & block purchases & Serengeti Stampede investments in properties as the 21st Century wealth building of clarion call by property gurus
        2) Surreal pricing not tagged to real demand but called by cartel(?) of builders
        3) Production costs not reflecting actual composite costs of building a house / property
        (e.g. remember when Pg Gomen gave preferential water rates to developers, they have the bile to ask for a raise in property prices). There is such a thing as a water bed, but is there a water house?
        4) Increase in supply & increase in density, but the prices never come down! W.T.H.
        5) Building skyward & more units per floor on a set land area of fixed cost but the developers’ argument that price of land has gone up, so the higher property prices is absolut vodka insane beyond abacus arithmetics of divide. 2 divided by 2 = 1, but here 2 divided by 8 = 2
        6) Building more super high end homes is not a phenomena as it is a trend of developers with no marketing common sense. Malaysians are now upper-middle class surpassing vision 2020?

        Housing is more of a social need, not more of a bin-chui want & greed unlimited.
        Since majority 90% of Malaysians fall in the category of poor > lower middle-class > middle class, shouldn’t the housing development more in the line of affordability?

      • Building higher does not mean cheaper. Boss and workers longer time to bring material up. Higher risks like falling hook and crane over turning. If cheaper everyone wants to be tallest building in the world

      • Go back to Standard One to learn simple Arithmetic.

      • Dedak thinks chip chip to build tallest buildings in penang close to indo earthquake, higher wind speed near sea, fire risk and residents coming down using parachutes and paragliders. Of course pg lang do not take lifts to go up. They take convertible flying cars like the Flintstones.

      • Power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely!

        Only MACC and the court judges can put him in jail. This another 1MDB but on smaller scale.

        Air Putih rise! Free Penang from an allegedly corrupt CM.

      • You should also stick like a purple coloured Post-it on Tamil Nesan!!!

      • Foreigner$ on golf incentive$ trip cum condo purchase$ and may be their authoritie$ can collaborate with MACC here for an intere$ting year?

      • if. supply and demand is not equal why developers are throwing and burning their money building the flats? akin to joyride in a traffic jam

      • FOR: Maxi-profiteering @ super-high-end prices with super-high mark ups.
        So, when the bubble finally bursts, they can still sell @ discounts after taking off these mark ups.
        Who really cares as they won’t burn their 20 fingers & toes.
        Pity those who will get retrenched & cannot service their home loans (of high borrowings due to super-high-end prices of Penang properties & dearth of truly affordable housing @Rm250K).
        Not what 308 Euphoria is all about to deliver but instead a fulfilment of Developers Association of Penang’s playground of fantasies.

      • you pity them when they cant service their loans and rejoice with them when they make a handsome sum selling their properties after a few years when their loans are not fully paid??

      • Elemantry watson.To house people from visitors, tourists, rural people seeking green pastures and more than 3m workers and 70m Malaysians in Dr m 2020.

  5. Yesterday on The Star Property supplement plenty of new condominium development in Penang.
    Is the property market still vibrant in Penang when the economy is getting nowhere despite the feel good messages from BN?

    • The Star is not honest about the current housing issues so long as it get advertising revenue from the developers. It will report what the developers want it to.

  6. On this matter I think you barking up wrong tree. PDC reasonably managed. Not perfect but then who is. PDC set up under the PDC act. Board has representatives from Federal Govt, State CFO, SS and of course CM as Chairman. I have very high regard for several current Board members. well known that PDC been buying land in batu Kawan and also in SPS for future industrial usage. At current prices, the numbers not beyond reason. Apart from industrial land, all transactions above a certain threshold need federal approval so a lot of checks and balances in place. Of course in the spirit of CAT helps if the Annual Report and audited accounts are published online.

    • We need to see the numbers and how every dollar and cent was spent of the 1.9 billion. Its as simple as that.
      Where did the money go?
      1.9b – 0.1b = 1.8b spent.
      So what was the 1.8b spent on, PDC?
      Its as simple as that.

  7. Precisely ! All the land sales have to be itemized and it’s also the responsibility of the councilors too !
    Alas, Anil is not representing us in the new council line-up, they get instead of a rich-background Penang forum member Khoo to take over Dr. Lim’s place ?

    • Anil not representing Penangites could be b’cos of too much ‘noises’ from zoro complaining realistic + non-worshipping comments against CAT Deity.
      Whoever dare to hear, to think & to speak against the ills of CAT will be axed!…

      • Another worshipper and dedak of pg forum and self appointed tokong and we cannot speak against dedak but he has right to make noise.

  8. Bayan Mutiara traded RM1.1billion for Penang World City as envisioned by Dato Low Eng Hock’s Ivory Properties joint venture with VinceTan’s brother Tropicana, but Ideal Properties has surpassed them for projects from Relau to Bayan Lepas stretch -, all awaiting foreign $ to sustain profitability to engage more locals to work for them … as property agents some can earn free holiday trips?

    • Yeah, the terms of payment in instalments? Guaranteed?
      Have they figured in the (1) falling Ringgit value & (2) inflation & (3) rise of Penang Island land value (future’s profit potentials)? Which may required prudent decision-making whether to sell or to rent or to lease?

      While developers are overtly-smart & greedy to up the prices of properties way beyond today’s (live price) accountable pricing, is Penang CAT Gomen also more than overtly-smart to figure out the above (1), (2) & (3)?

      Any boasting of financial scorecard may require some doubts & fine-combing ala Anil before falling for exhilaration.

      • Interest could be up soon. More could default on loan payments if got retrenched. More lelong coming up?

      • AKPK will get its hands full soon! But banks will not be happy.
        Developers will cry crocodile tears while lamenting bad market, the causes of which started from them greedy fellas. Karma is watching them closely.

      • Newspapers of Penang awaiting Developers advertisements revenues during CNY period. More showcases supplements to woo those with deep pockets and also not so deep but bin chui thick ego ones to seek loans.

      • Deep pockets ones must be careful now that MACC is in action targeting Datuks (especially those playing golf overseas) who hide solid cash at home.

      • Bank not happy and Developers crocodile tears? But dedak crocodile laugh, glee and happy happy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here