Pulau Jerejak scandal; land reclamation


Almost all the useable land on Pulau Jerejak near Penang Island was sold to a resort, majority owned by the federal government’s UDA Holdings Bhd. And Penang has incurred a RM19 million RM30 million loss on the deal.

The Tropical Island Resort, which manages Pulau Jerejak, is a 51:49 joint-venture between UDA and the Penang Development Corporation. How could PDC (and by extension, Penang) end up with only a minority share when the island is part of Penang? UDA, for its part, was delisted from the stock exchange in 2007 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Finance Ministry’s Khazanah.

PDC has incurred investment expenditure and debt of RM19 million. Another RM11 million in land premium has not yet been paid to the Penang Land Administrator. Shockingly, even though the land premium has not yet been paid in full, the title deed was still issued by the previous administration, said Chief Minister Guan Eng. If that’s the case, the resort must settle what it owes to the PDC and the Penang state government, which in turn must seek legal advice to protect Penang’s interest.

(As a matter of interest, the island once housed a leper colony, which in the 1930s was overseen by an Australian-English couple. Opium was even provided by the local authorities to some of the inmates to ease their misery – and the biggest complaint among the lepers was about its poor quality. “Ta’da baik,” they would say. This at a time when there were stiff penalties for opium possession in the UK itself.)

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As you can see from the photos, there’s a lot of potential for this lovely waterway to be a part of a scenic water transport route for Penang. After all, the city cats (catamarans) are an important means of transit for the folks in in Brisbane. Similarly, the river buses in Bangkok carry a large number of commuters. Imagine beating all those traffic jams in such a relaxing way.

Anyway, what happened to all those inquiries into land scams that were supposed to have been undertaken by the present state government? There is a lot more at stake than RM30 million.

What I would really like to know is – and this is something that no one wants to answer – how much have the previous and present Penang state governments received from developers in exchange for granting them lucrative land reclamation rights (with gross development value worth billions of ringgit) for the coastal areas stretching from Tanjong Tokong in the north-east, down the entire east coast past Jelutong and extending to Gertak Sanggul in the south-west? Has the state received only peanuts (in comparison with the GDV) in exchange for handing over reclamation rights? Could we have some accountability here?

From a Malaysian Insider report:

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today called his predecessor, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, irresponsible for blaming problems faced during the state BN’s recent camp at the Tropical Island Resort (TIR) at Pulau Jerejak on the new administration.

Pulau Jerejak is a 362-hectare island off the eastern coast of Penang, which once served as a penal and leper colony.

“He is not satisfied because there was no key to the boat and there was a snake in the storeroom,” Lim said in a media statement today, referring to the Gerakan president and state BN chief.

The DAP secretary-general said Koh should not blame PR because the jetty at Bayan Bay and Pulau Jerejak was managed by the resort company, which was granted the project by the previous BN administration.

TIR is a joint-venture partnership between Putrajaya-linked UDA Holdings and state-owned Penang Development Corporation (PDC) with shares split 51 per cent and 49 per cent respectively

Lim, who is also PDC chairman, said the project had caused the state agency to suffer a RM19 million loss which it cannot recoup.

He said almost all usable land on the former leper colony had been handed over to UDA during Koh’s 15-year tenure as chief minister.

Lim dared Koh to explain for the loss.

“Is Koh brave enough to explain the new RM19 million scandal in Pulau Jerejak?” the first-term CM challenged.

“Or is he going to wait until March?” he added, mocking Koh’s promise that there are surprises in store for the PR state government.

Lim had earlier this week dared Koh to disclose why the state government had to pay RM40 million over the Tang Hak Ju land scam and why the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) suffered a RM230 million deficit for seven years.

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  1. http://www.pdc.gov.my/images/pdc_pictures/annualreport/annualreport2009.pdf … page 56 onwards (Financial Statement)==PDC Financial Statement….2009, cash in bank at Group level reduce by 21%, whereas at PPPP level is more drastic i.e 55%….pls note 2008 FS reflects 08/07 operation when PP is under BN, whereas 2009 the operation is fully under PR….so what happen to the cash….sudah kena rompak ke(?)…and it seems the Net Tangible Asset (NTA) also has gone down…..meaning some of the asset has been dispose but does not contribute to the Cash in Hand..

  2. http://www.pba.com.my/AnnualReport/AR2009.pdf

    Meaning business are closing down in PP…..hence that explain no new tax revenue for the State…..which is much required to cover the budget deficit…PDC Financial Statement….2009, cash in bank at Group level reduce by 21%, whereas at PPPP level is more drastic i.e 55%….pls note 2008 FS reflects 08/07 operation when PP is under BN, whereas 2009 the operation is fully under PR….so what happen to the cash….sudah kena rompak ke(?)…Lim said the deficit is to be financed by the state accumulated savings totalling RM538.95mil at the end of 2009…..
    and they pakat to rompak also State Saving that was built up by BN for years….(?)
    Penang govt tables deficit budget
    GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government on Tuesday tabled the state budget for 2011 with a deficit of RM107.78mil RM28.8mil more than the RM78.98mil this year.

  3. The accusation about the tourism booklet twisting historical facts and challenging the early existence of the Malays in the island is just one of the litany of the many series of accusations against Lim Guan Eng (“LGE”), the object of which is to fan racial and religious sentiments and to portray him and the DAP as anti-Malay and anti Islam – and by extension PKR and PAS as well in collaborating with the DAP!

    The other examples of such accusations are (i) LGE’s name had replaced the King’s during Friday “doa khutbah” sermons in some mosques in the state; (ii) LGE’s poverty eradication programmes are sourced from funds from haram gambling activities; (iii) law enforcers said Penang was becoming a hub for commercial gay sex services and the local councils seemed to encourage it; (iv) LGE had something against Malay traders in setting up Ramadan stalls in Komtar; (v) LGE canceled the Maulidur Rasul procession; (vi) LGE had had questioned the citizenship and loyalty of Utusan Malaysia supporters speech at the second Pakatan Rakyat national convention; (vii) LGE Govt wanted to acquire 200-acre site owned by primarily Malay settlers in Balik Pulau for the building of an educational hub of excellence. This resonates of placinmg meritocracy ahead of NEP!

    The pressure to taint him and his administration with the brush of anti malay and anti Islam or anti Royalty is sustained and unremitting. No wonder LGE said in an interview, “Every day is a challenge. Every day is a survival exercise. It’s like experiencing Survivor”. He has the unenviable record of being the most attacked and abused Chief Minister in the whole of Malaysia – not only by ministers, but by other lower ranking UMNO’s MPs and even a civil servant (Nik Ali Mat Yunus) who called him “biadap” at an Umno press conference over the controversy arising from demolition of controversial twin arches in Botanic Garden.

    To the ruling party much is at stake in targeting Penang, tarring his image and destabilizing his administration, and if possible recover Penang to BN’s or UMNO’s fold.

    For Penang is a rich state. Penang land price is expensive. A lot of money is derivable from land alienation, quit rent and land registration fees (that could be used by DAP to finance election campaigns!) As land is under jurisdiction of the state, the privatization of the Port there may also be hindered by an uncooperative state govt.
    More important he is the first Chinese CM not under BN and not kow-towing to UMNO. Besides he is trying to show case to Penangites and Malaysians what PR governance in contrast to BN is all about by personal example of not taking bribes, awarding open tender based on CAT the management of Bukit Jambul Golf Country Resort to a company that is worth more than RM 40 million; the effect of fiscal discipline saving RM33 million for 2 local councils in waste disposal and turning their accounts from red to black. If this kind of governance spreads its appeal, throughout the land, where will the old order of political patronage based on race/religion (to which BN is identified) stand????

    Therefore he and what he stands for are a big threat to legitimacy of UMNO’s rule.

    To put his actions under microscope and interpret, misinterpret and exert continuous pressure on him being not taking care of Malay or religious interest seems a good strategy to alienate Malay vote bank in Penang from the DAP. If LGE fails to draw the line and in defence goes out of his way to uphold Malay interest and Islam, then the attack is skewed the other way in hope to wean non malays’ and non muslims’ support away from him and DAP on grounds that it is playing second fiddle to PAS and leaning towards the Islamic state contrary to his secular pluralistic platform. So LGE has to tread a fine line between two pincers. They hope he trips in a major way and thats where they get him.

    • Well said Jeff!

      It is very sad to see Muyiddin trying to tell LGE to be fair to other races when the existing preferential status of malays are not compromised at all in Penang with open and transparent tender process that has in fact benefiting the malays.

      My malay friends in Penang are now very suspicious of the umno motives in Penang. Its umno chief even brought the sepak takraw defeat to Thailand in Asian Games.

  4. P Jerejak is only one of many PDC JV fiascos. Penang government should reveal many other joint ventures causing losses to the people of Penang, and benefiting the other party.

  5. “They r All” just like the WORST Smell … in this lovely country !!

    There r still sleeping damned stupid vote for ‘Barang Naikkkkk !!

    Lets unite & bury ’em All FOREVER & EVER (in the next GE)!!

    Origin of Gurney Drive

  6. Helo,helo!!No need to cry and wail over this Pulau Jerejak Resort. If u want to know the truth, grill the Penang Development Corporation employees of 1992 who are still around.

    The main man who was incharge of investments and setting up new companies is still around and hiding as a high official of a private college which is owned partially by PDC of 45%. He is (allegedly) doing the same damage that he did at PDC before. Look for him la. After all, the Penang Govt owns PDC and the PDC Chairman is CM Lim Guan Eng and if I am not mistaken, the present GM of PDC is the Chairman of Board of Directors, this private college . Lim Guan Eng can squeeze this so-called intelligent man to reveal the truth. He is probably getting a giant salary (for doing (what)?) in this private college with foreigners owning the rest…

  7. He sole out…y can,t the government charge him to court? He is sailing gorverment property. Isn’t
    He wrong……I think they blind la…or still sleeping.

  8. From the way “How Come” seems to be jabbing at Penangites, I think it is safe to assume that he isn’t one. However, if “How Come” doesn’t even come from a Pakatan controlled state, then we should all ask “How Come”….HOW COME…HOW COME…HOW COME!!!!! …unless of course “How Come” is a BN STOOGE!

    • How come? – is most likely a SYCOPHANT, an unsuccessfully morphed Gerakan K with Pearl heady mentality in the parasitic cloning. An Internet troll gone wrong in Pakatan territory.
      That’s the best I can guess.

      We don’t need no ‘education’ from a sycophant troll
      Get what I mean here: PINK FLOYD – ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL

  9. Sigh. People have short memory………KTK will use his boss’s style……..you help me, I help you and the greedy and blinded Penangites might just bite the bait !! This can be really sad ! Penang has so much potential without the THEIVES, but once the THIEVES are in power, the poor will become poorer, CORRUPTION will be the prevalent! People will bribe their way through in business !

  10. Luckily we have DAP to expose the BN secret plan on Jerejak, that has robbed the local government of the rightful revenue.

    Penangites should ask KTK and BN what the heck are they trying to ‘develop’ at Jerejak? Pak Lah did not mention it in his Koridor Utara plan. The last thing we want to hear is OSA.

    The Johor people should give Pakatan a chance to rule the state. I believe there are many skeleton in the Johor closet. Otherwise how could Johor Corp be losing money (with so many cash cows) and in RM3.6 billion debt.

      • With Pakatan, we now know just how very corrupt and inept the KTK-led administration was.

      • Why don’t you ask HOW COME the Penangites voted DAP and not the (political) eunuch Gerakan? That alone explains most things, plain and simple. We don’t need no useless, degrading assumption of Penangites from a self appointed socio-politico ‘headmaster’.

        For your socio-politico education, sanity and peace of mind, Penangites are now more open to CHANGE and dare to make a CHANGE than any self defeating, self doubting ‘how-come?’ who think he knows more than anybody here like an overdue primary school headmaster (in Anil’s blog). Why not contribute constructively than poking a doubting face here and there? Nobody wants to discourse with such an obsolete irritating IQ!

        We Penangites don’t need no ‘telling’ education, dear How come?.

        Get what I mean here: PINK FLOYD – ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL

    • In 2004 Johor had non oppositon MP and Adun. About 10 years ago under the mentriship of Muhiddin the state government issue Dana Johor at RM1. Now it worth less than 10sens. Few years back the state government conducted a beli balik at the price of 50%. With your logic with all the infrastructure and supporting civil servants why Johor is facing such large deficits, notably the failure of Johor Corp.?

  11. How could PDC (and by extension, Penang) end up with only a minority share when the island is part of Penang?

    Why are you asking this question now?

    Isn’t it a little bit late asking such a question?

    Why didn’t you ask the question when Koh Tsu Koon was still the Menteri Besar?

    Or is it because of your Gerakan membership you dare not ask such question?

    • What Gerakan membership? We only found out now this deal took place in 1992: that was when the mainstream media were controlled, when there was no Internet and few outside the ruling elite were any the wiser.

      • You only found out that this took place in 1992?

        This is 2011, my friend, and where the heck have you been for the past 19 years?

        Were you in Penang? And if you were, how the heck you can claim, with a straight face, that you had absolutely no idea what was going on in the state that you were living in?

        Who are you trying to kid?

    • Gerakan K ?

      Sulking no doubt, at being left out of the Pulau Jerejak RM30m scam(?)

      But worry not Gerakan K, lots of Federally orchestrated looting opportunities for rent seekers like you now that the next GE is around the corner.

  12. Anil

    New LCCT will be built at Northern Perak. I thought Penang will be a more ideal location? Afterall, that Ipoh airport is hardly utilized at this moment.

    Perhaps Perak is chosen because it is BN-controlled?
    Looks like Gamuda (with its royalty conncetion?) will benefit again.

    Any comment?

  13. oneinterested how a “Still water runs deep character” works? Ask Koh Tsu Koon!
    …poor LGE and present PR State govt has to carry the baby!
    Gerakan K, very quiet of late, helping S L Chua running the Port?

  14. KTK really took us, Penangites, to the cleaners, stripping out valuable state assets and dumping onto us the losses.

    This Ostrich makes me sick.

  15. Gerakan under Koh could not turn Jerejak into ca$h cow of Penang but to turn it over to Khazanah Federal Government.
    Fellow Penangites, wise up and not be fooled by any Gerakan Khas from Dr T in next GE else sorry for our generations to come.

    We have off shore cruise (gambling in disguise). So let’s be open minded and practical and have controlled resort (gambling in disguise) at Jerejak.
    I think probably UDA kronies already have that in the pipeline ?

  16. Was this the island used to quarantine ship passengers from India until at least 1950s? The main concern at that time was yellow fewer.

    Is is regrettable that we are still in the frenzy of reclaiming coastal land here and elsewhere (e.g. Malacca). This will have consequences further along the coast. Are we short of land, or is this a way to gain access to the shore by depriving another land owner?

    • Yes, that’s the same place used to conduct health checks on immigrants and to quarantine passengers on incoming vessels.

  17. RM 230 millions MPSP deficit!! Wow wow wow!
    By per-capita comparison, Seberang Prai municipal councils deficit scale are WORST than California state.

  18. Were there any creative marketing done for this resort?
    What about integrated joint promo with local tour agencies, state eco-tourism or Air Asia?
    Give this to any private initiative, it might most probably turn in profits than an exorbitant loss.
    Actually, this resort is more than a ‘fishing line, hooks and sinker’.
    ‘Learning to fish’ this way shouldn’t be too hard to land a Grouper.
    Unless the ‘golden-spooned-fed fisherman’ was not passionate about ‘learning to fish’.

  19. LGE should have drop a bomb shell by openly publish all the account into a website and make his own Penang-Leak. That will secure his position than holding back the info and playing information asymmetry. Tons of public can scrutinized creative accounting better than auditor.

  20. Ostrich is going to come out with its guns blazing in March to set things right.
    All doubts will be answers and we, Penangites better accept all the shocks and surprises the Ostrich party is going to shove down our throats.
    & vote Gelak-an back to rule (oops I mean ruin) Penang again for another 18 years. This would be to clean up all the “false” allegations piled up against Gelakan. The Chief Ostrich will sweep it under the sand again where the ostrich buries its head.

  21. I agree

    ” RM19m is small change ”

    but only because we, Penangites, have been so used to being ripped off for more by the BN cronies with the connivance of the inept Ostrich.

    The greatest service this political eunuch can do for Penang is to fade into oblivion given the amount of damage he has heaped onto Penang.

    All these wanton looting, stealing and damage. The Buddhists believe in karma and retribution.

    The karma of these type of people cannot be good.

  22. The new excuse now is that there will not be an outcome. I thought I’d heard them all before, but this one is an original.

    When you’ve been in power for 53 years, it’s difficult to blame things on others and ignorance is the last thing you can plead.

      • Skandal Pulau Jerejak sebenarnya melibatkan kerugian kepada rakyat Pulau Pinang sebanyak RM30 juta dengan RM10.6 juta premium tanah masih tidak dibayar oleh Syarikat Tropical Island Resort(TIR) disamping kerugian PDC sebanyak RM19 juta

        Skandal pemberian Pulau Jerejak kepada Urban Development Authority(UDA) oleh Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon di bawah pemerintahan kerajaan BN sebenarnya melibatkan kerugian kepada rakyat Pulau Pinang sebanyak RM30 juta. Ini adalah kerana selain daripada kerugian RM 19 juta yang ditanggung oleh PDC, kerajaan negeri pun rugi bila RM10.6 juta premium tanah masih tidak dibayar oleh TIR kepada Pejabat Pentadbir Tanah Pulau Pinang.


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