More details needed on Sg Juru land sale deal


More details are required on the Penang state government’s sale of 8.1ha of land near one of the most polluted rivers in the country, the 8km-long Sungai Juru.

The land was sold to Juru Auto-City, which will now have to rehabilitate the river.

Under the arrangement with the state government (reported in the Sunday Star on 13 June), Juru Auto-City would revive the river and its banks for activities such as fishing, boating and the breeding of prawns and crabs.

Are they going to throw some mud balls in and hope for the best? See here and here too.

More images here

What I would like to know are the terms of the deal with Juru Auto-City.

  • How much did they pay the state government for the land? Was it sold at market value?
  • What exactly is expected of Juru Auto-City in return?
  • Will the public be allowed free access to the river and its banks after it has been cleaned up?
  • Why isn’t the DID/JPS handling the clean up of the river? Isn’t that its role?
  • How exactly is Juru Auto-City going to clean up the river?
  • How is Juru Auto-City going to tackle the sources of pollution of the river?

The whole agreement should be made public as it involves the sale of public land.

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Why are we looking and querying the sale of mere 20 acres of land? It is hardly big enough to do a decent mix development project to be profitable to the developer. If the state could get the buyer to clean up the river in this deal, I seriously doubt their effectiveness to sustain. More over, the 8km river clean up would be costing min rm20mil plus rm30mil to do those boating things and etc. My estimate for the land worth is at rm50 psf (raw agri) which will be about rm50mil for the 20 acres land. So to do… Read more »


Anil, Its a Catch-22 situation. State Govt does not have enough funds to re-hab Sg Juru single handedly. The 20 acre land is worthless to Auto-City, unless it is re-habilitated. Are you aware that the State Govt is currently working with all the factories in the area? There are lots of back-yard industries pumping waste into the river. Each of these companies are being told to clean up. This is being done/has to be done hand-in-hand with the Govt angencies that have the power to bring to court the polluters. So, it is a long journey, and the ball has… Read more »


You are right, Anil. If the numbers are explained to the public, then that will definitely remove all suspicion.


Anil The land is in a strategic location and if this is developed, it could fetch a huge return. In fact this area is one of the key new area for development in Penang due to scare land in the island. It is illogical that the state is awarding the land to Autocity as they have no track record in cleaning up the river. As you know, cleaning up rivers is a specialised field that not many companies can do. In fact when Selangor wanted to clean up Klang River they opted for foreign companies since local firms lack the… Read more »


It is ironic that a government that peddles CAT but does its business in utmost secrecy and favours the Big Business over common people.

What’s the point of talking about transparency, open tender and Freedom of Information when deals are signed in a hush hush manner.

I think as usual the state (may have) given way land for peanuts so the private development can “develop” the land. This Auto City area is already badly congested and things can only get worse.


Since we have CAT, just request your ADUN/EXCO, to publish the details of the agreement between AutoCity & the State Government. It has to be a Win-Win situation. Autocity has to make a reasonable profit, and PDC/State Government should not lose out. If the agreement is to clean-up the river to be able to sustain aqua-culture then it has to be maintained at a certain level of cleanliness. One issue to note is that, Autocity can only make money if the clean-up the river is done. The land area along the river banks is worthless as it is on a… Read more »


Humans pollute rivers.
Nature can never pollute them.

If we want to clean up rivers, we must first have the necessary legislation to control or stop the discharge of wastes into our rivers.

As the river is only 8km long, rubbish and pollutants from the sea may also back flow into the river during the change of tides.

No point cleaning up a river only to have it polluted again by humans.

Is there ever a detail environmental study done on the Juru river?

Anthony Tan

Anil, If you could recall during the hot debate on the PICC @ Pisa on your blog, I had highlighted on the Autocity (apparently) had plan on to build a hotel and a large convention centre, that was a tip off on some land negotiation with PDC to extend the Autocity’s land bank. If I am not wrong, I told you that you could make check on this tip off but everyone reading you blog was engrossed in the bickering on PICC @ Pisa. Now there are going to be more questions than answers as this application for the extention… Read more »