300 acres in Batu Kawan unpaid: Why hasn’t PDC taken back the land?
Address the controversial PGCC/Batu Kawan land deals in your debate
We hope you will address the issues arising from the “mother and father of all questionable land deals” in your debate.
We note with interest your ‘live’ debate tomorrow which will probably touch on several questionable and controversial land deals in the state over the last few years.
There are no other deals that are more controversial and questionable than those involving the sale (and conversion) of 260 acres of land belonging to the Penang Turf Club and as well as the sale of 1,000 acres of Batu Kawan land belonging to the PDC. Both deals were entered into in 2004.
On 16 Jan 2004, the Penang Development Corporation entered into a ‘master agreement’ to sell about eight parcels of land on the mainland in Batu Kawan, totalling over 1,000 acres, to one very “fortunate” company, Abad Naluri. One of these parcels, measuring 300 acres, was for a new racecourse site.
On what basis was 1,000 acres of potential prime land, now located close to the proposed second Penang bridge, allotted to one firm? How was Abad Naluri able to tell the Turf Club in its bid two years earlier, in 2002, that it had a “letter of approval” to support its claim that it had a land bank in Batu Kawan?
Under this agreement, we understand Abad Naluri was given four years to settle the purchase consideration for the racecourse. But until now, the actual sale and purchase agreement for the Batu Kawan racecourse parcel of 300 acres apparently has not yet even been signed, and the land has not been paid for – even though, we understand, payment should have been made by January 2008.
If payment has still not yet been made, could you clarify why the PDC has not terminated the agreement and confiscated the land, which is now worth a lot more, bearing in mind its location next to the site of the proposed second Penang bridge?
On 12 May 2004, the Turf Club entered into an agreement with Abad Naluri for the sale of its land in Batu Gantung on the island at a low “recreational land” price of RM43 per sq ft. Why would the Turf Club sell to a property developer at such a low “recreational land” price when it knows the latter is going to develop the land and it would then be worth RM250 per sq ft? It doesn’t make sense to us.
And on what basis did the state administration then decide to rezone the land to new or mixed development – thereby potentially handing the developer an instant RM1.5 billion revaluation profit? Couldn’t this money have gone to the state government had it acquired the land for itself and then sold it to others?
We hope you will address these issues arising from the “mother and father of all questionable land deals” in your debate.
Ahmad Chik and Anil Netto
on behalf of the Anti-PGCC Campaign Group