Got-meh? Yes, RM3.05 per square foot for 126.04 acres of prime land on Batu Kawan on the mainland within 4km of the landing site of the second Penang bridge.
Don’t believe it? Check this announcement by Equine Capital Berhad on the Bursa Malaysia website here. Look at item 2.5, which says “RM3.05 per sq ft” and “No valuation was carried out on the land”.
That’s a purchase price of RM16.75m for PDC land (with 24 months payment terms) for a project with gross development value of RM293m.
This is the third of five parcels totalling 450 acres under a Principal Agreement between the Penang Development Corporation and Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd (a former 25 per cent related company of Equine) on 16 January 2004. The parcel is now to be transferred to wholly owned Equine subsidiary, Penaga Pesona Sdn Bhd.
Incidentally, from what I understand, the market value of Batu Kawan land today ranges from roughly RM15 to just over RM20 per square foot.
We need some answers here from the PDC and the Penang state government (heads of past and present administrations) about the Principal Agreement of 2004.
If you remember Abad Naluri was involved in the controversial and now aborted Penang Global City Centre project (linked to Patrick Lim) with the Turf Club and it was supposed to build an alternative 300-acre race-track in Batu Kawan.
Some questions for the PDC/Penang state government (past and present):
- How was so much prime land on the mainland next to the site of the Second Penang Bridge awarded at such bargain prices to an obscure firm? Who were the real parties behind it?
- Why was no valuation done for this particular parcel (as stated in the announcement)?
- Has the Principal Agreement in 2004 lapsed or is it still valid? What were the precise terms?
- Was the Principal Agreement for 450 acres or 750 acres (including the equestrian centre)?
As a matter of public interest, the Principal Agreement should be made public. There’s probably more to it than meets the eye.