It is shocking to see the Penang Development Corporation and Abad Naluri re-negotiating the deal in which the latter was supposed to acquire 750 acres of land in Batu Kawan from the PDC.
The site of the failed equestrian centre project in Batu Kawan – Photo by Anil
This Batu Kawan land was supposed to have been used for a new equestrian centre among other things around the time the Penang Turf Club entered into an agreement with Abad Naluri to sell its Batu Gantung race-course for the Penang Global City Centre project. Neither project (the PGCC and the new equestrian centre in Batu Kawan) took off.
An Edge report says no money has exchanged hands for the Batu Kawan land even though there was a principal agreement between the PDC and Abad Naluri. If so, hasn’t this agreement, which was entered into in 2004, now lapsed? Shouldn’t the PDC be terminating the deal outright?
What is there to negotiate? After all, if the agreement has lapsed, there is no risk of the PDC being sued by Abad Naluri, is there?
People are always complaining there’s a shortage of land in Penang for affordable housing and green lungs. One would have thought this would be a golden opportunity for PDC to re-acquire this vast tract of land and build some affordable houses for Penangites – like it once did superbly – or to use it for other social and public purposes like public parks. Part of the land could also be sold to the highest bidder – in an open tender – to raise funds for the state government.
In the first place, how did an obscure company like Abad Naluri enter into an agreement with the PDC for such a vast tract of land? Was it a coincidence that it secured 750 acres of potential prime land next to the site of the second bridge so cheaply?
Did the state government’s investigative committee panel to probe dubious land deals ever probe the Batu Kawan deal? If so, what is the outcome? And if it did not probe the deal, why not? This was a monster of a deal – 750 acres to an obscure, but well-connected firm.