It is not about ringgit and sen; Pulau Jerejak is a priceless green lung belonging to the people

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I am sorry; this is not the point (see the statement below about who is making losses and who is making a profit re: Pulau Jerejak). Everything cannot be boiled down to ringgit and sen.

This is about the need to preserve Pulau Jerejak as a green lung for present and future generations of Penang residents. We are always complaining about a lack of open green spaces. Here we have one – and what do they do? Hive it off for high-end property development!

In the end, the federal Uda Holdings and the private property developer Ideal Property will very likely make a profit. The state PDC makes a profit. These profits are fleeting and will soon evaporate. 

The losers (in terms of loss of a large tract of precious open green space, ‘The Commons’, to private interests) are the residents of Penang. Their loss will be permanent.

There are other issues that need to be explained: How did Uda Holdings end up choosing Ideal Property? What kind of negotiations took place and who were the parties involved?

If the 49% stake in the resort company belonged to PDC, why was UDA offering to sell the stake to Ideal Property (see statement below)? In other words, who chose Ideal Property and on what basis? This must be clearly explained.

When was the sale of PDC’s 49% stake in the resort company to a subsidiary of Ideal Property signed? Was it before or after the 27 June MBPP planning workshop to amend the draft Penang Island Local Plan at which Ideal Property reps were reportedly present – and at which the status of Pulau Jerejak including the resort were discussed, according to a Penang Forum press release?

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See also: Why are vested corporate interests influencing Penang’s urban planning? about that same workshop.

I reproduce the following below:

PRESS RELEASE BY DATO’ ROSLI JAAFAR, GENERAL MANAGER

OF PENANG DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (PDC) ON 11.11.2016 In Penang.

Accepts UDA’s Offer To Sell PDC’s 49% Shares In Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB) To Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd (Ideal) For RM 156 Million Generating A Profit To PDC Of RM 140.6 Million.

PDC has accepted UDA’s offer to sell PDC’s 49% shares in Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB) to Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd (Ideal) for RM 156 million generating a profit to PDC of RM 140.6 million. UDA had brought in Ideal to jointly developed their project and also buy out PDC’s 49% stake in accordance with PDC’s conditions.

Only when these conditions protecting PDC’s interests were fulfilled, the shares sale agreement with Ideal’s subsidiary company, Q Islands Development Sdn Bhd (Q Islands) was signed this year. The 10% deposit of RM15.6 million has been received by PDC. As payment will be made over a period of 8 years PDC shares will only be transferred after full payment is made in 2024.

In 1997, TIRSB was set up by both the BN Federal and state government with a paid-up capital of RM31.5 million. PDC had injected RM15.44 million into TIRSB for a 49% share whilst UDA contributed RM16.07 million for a 51% share. The BN State government in 2001 had then approved the award of 80 acres of leasehold land for 60 years (expiring in 2062) in Pulau Jerejak to TIRSB, at a price of RM12.95 million.

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In 2001, this price of the 80 acres of Pulau Jerejak land of RM12.95 million or RM3.71 per square feet is below the market value of RM47.6 million or RM13.65 per square feet. In other words, the BN state government had sold the land to TIRSB at only 27% of the market price. The land title was transferred to TIRSB by the then BN state government even before the land premium of RM12.95 million had been fully paid.

PDC even gave out a loan of RM3.4 million to TIRSB on 28 December 2007 at an interest rate of 3.5% per annum. The loan principal and interest had increased to RM4.4 million by 2016. One of the conditions for accepting UDA’s offer is that the RM4.4 million loan must be settled separately from the sale of the 49% shares. This was agreed to by UDA and the RM4.4 million loan was fully paid on April 2016.

In other words, PDC will receive a total of RM160.4 million. With this equity sale, PDC will recover its cost of investment of RM15.44 million, together with the shareholders’ loan and interest of RM4.4 million which has also been paid by Ideal. PDC will make a profit of RM 140.6 million. UDA will have 100% control of TIRSB upon completion of the Novation Agreement.

TIRSB has been incurring heavy operating losses since it commenced operations of Jerejak Rainforest Resort & Spa (JRRS) in 2004 and they have now closed its operations from May 2016 due to accumulated losses amounting to RM 40 million as at end 2015.

READ MORE:  Pulau Jerejak - Voices from the Past, Choices for the Future (updated)

UDA had submitted their development plans to the Penang state government for their 80 acres land. The redevelopment will comprise 1,200 units of residential development over 80 acres, a marina, four- and five-star hotels, theme park, an 11.5km round island cycling track and related infrastructure to promote tourism in the state. The state government intends to gazette the remaining few hundred acres on the island as forest reserves.

The state government had approved UDA’s proposals on condition that environmental safeguards are in place and comply with Environment Impact Assessment(EIA) requirements. For instance the bridge linking to Pulau Jerejak will not allow cars and vehicles to cross to Pulau Jerejak.

(Dato’ Rosli Jaafar)

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Anthony
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Anthony

Lim Guan Eng has given Penang Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow 48 hours to show proof that the Chief Minister rejected another development deal for 32ha of land in Pulau Jerejak in 2013.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=LUknZFGtBCU

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/22/lge-this-is-not-a-game-show-proof-in-48-hours/

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

SHOW proof of the serious allegations which you made in The Star on Nov 16 on the Pulau Jerejak share sale issue. That was the demand Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng made to Penang Gerakan chief Teng Chang Yeow. Lim said this at a press conference attended by Penang Development Corporation (PDC) general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar and also its board members on Nov 16. He was referring to a report in The Star which said: “Quoting ‘reliable’ PDC sources, he said the agreement inked in December 2013 had a potential profit guarantee of up to RM450mil based on a… Read more »

tunglang
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tunglang

Even if you want to make profit, state gomen should not have sold our assets to corporations, much less so if the untenable excuse is “cannot work with UDA”.
This is a betrayal of Penangites’ trust (by vote) of stewardship of a state gomen gone ‘Money Crazy’.
Totally irresponsible, reckless, unsavory.

Swat
Guest
Swat

For whatsoever suspected case of corruption, Penang people are so very welcome to report to MACC. I am sure MACC recently is having their focus on Penang too.

zoro
Guest
zoro

ikan bilis being small are plentiful and can easily being jaws. sharks are difficult to jaws. see how many are caught??

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

The most magical forest on Earth lies atop a mountain
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160105-the-most-magical-forest-on-earth-lies-atop-a-mexican-mountain
A magic of Nature money cannot buy. Nor be recreated.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Singapore is on the map in BBC’s Planet Earth II
http://www.todayonline.com/entertainment/television/singapore-map-planet-earth-ii

In the finale episode of the nature history documentary, which focuses on cities and how the natural world interacts with urban environments, Singapore gets screen time as an example of how cities can work to be conducive to nature.

chl
Guest
chl

A green lung that is not easy for people to access and use is pointless.
Is it not possible to maintain the existing infrastructure, or minimal upgrade for better access?
Why the need to develop a theme park and 1200 residential units?
And cycling track around Jerejak Island? Really? Just hike and enjoy the greens.

zoro
Guest
zoro

UDAng makes it possible for all to have round the island tour within one hour. Penang round island takes 8 hours.

gk ong
Guest
gk ong

1200 residential units, each with 2 vehicles, will envelope the island with CO and CO2, accelerating green house effect.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Let’ be clear about this: 1) The Penang government WANTS the 80 acre land on Pulau Jerejak to be developed. Gerakan rule that time it’s obvious, that’s why they set up JV with UDA. DAP also wants to develop it, but ideally not by the state, because based on past track record, LGE prefers to let private developers handle it. 2) UDA (federal government) also wants to develop the 80 acre land. 3) Some rakyat Penang may want to preserve this 80 acre land, that was not part of the proposed forest reserve to be gazetted. It’s understandable. 4) The… Read more »

Anthony
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Anthony

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In George Town, Komtar On 16.11.2016. Relating to 80 Acres of Pulau Jerejak to a Company Brought In by UDA Bhd. To avoid the BN media in both the non-Chinese and Chinese newspapers from using BN false attacks to twist and distort against the Pakatan Harapan’s state government on the sale of PDC’s 49% stake in TIRSB, let me summarise the key issues in writing: 1. In 1997, TIRSB was set up by both the BN Federal and BN state government with a paid-up capital of RM31.5 million. PDC had injected… Read more »

Hanjoo
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Hanjoo

Unfortunately the local mainstream media, being BN controlled, did not publish such press statement, but allowing Gerakan Teng to distort the situation with false allegations to discredit the Penang state government in this matter.

https://www.facebook.com/cmlimguaneng/posts/1434235613273202

Louis, Anthony charles
Guest
Louis, Anthony charles

My maternal great grand father landen in Pulau Jerejak in thelate 1800 as a 12 year old where hewas quaratined ,smoked of god only knows what and later send to Perlis as a sugar cane plantation slave.Yes indentured labour was a nice phrase for bible carrying volks instead of slaves. Slaves were properties one had to take care of. There must be a way to preserve this part of our heritage , this was the gateway of Indian Labour/slavery into the peninsula.Make it green , make it greener and don´t forget this heritage. Learn from the USA experinces.Many have passed… Read more »

zoro
Guest
zoro

Why slaves are not mentioned in HIS tory book Only mentioned as labourers. It is better to have a museum to described the horrors than a park. Children comes to park to play. Why no ask Penang forum to setup and volunteers like those barking at hillwatch.

Ho Say Leow
Guest
Ho Say Leow

Ideal Properties has replaced Ivory Properties (still burdened by Penang Times Square?) as darling king of Penang.
WE expect Alex now to do more CSR that truly benefits the commoners like Merriam access for all not just exclusive few.

chl
Guest
chl

I don’t agree with the priorities. The intent to gazette , even remaining hundreds of hectares of land in Pulau Jerejak should influence how the redevelopment should be done.

Look at the following
1. 1200 residential units
2. Marina
3. 2 hotels
4. 1 theme park
5. 11.5 round island cycling track
6. Related infrastructure for tourism promotion

I don’t understand how the above align with the tourism opportunities a forest reserve offers.

zoro
Guest
zoro

whar green lung for black at mid channel? cars buses kapchais cannot go there.even 2 legs cannot walk there. no ferry unless swim but big jaws waiting for you.
tell pg folks what to see and do over there? green lungs? the wind blow it disappear.no bark when it was used to build ships of war and bark when when old people wants to live in peace. better to have graveyards over there?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Something we all can learn from Dr Jane Goodall (World renowned British primatologist):
Jane’s interview – FRANCE – #HUMAN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99gJKzINNow

“I always think of Mahatma Gandhi’s saying,
‘This planet can provide for human need, but not for human greed.’
And that is so right.”
quoting from Dr Jane Goodall

zoro
Guest
zoro

Why bicycle when can walk? Why kapchai when can bike? Why car when there is kapchai? Why 4WD when there is car? Human greed as mentioned.

gk ong
Guest
gk ong

While we are clamouring for more green space by preserving the pristine forest of Jerejak, Greenback bashed Ringgit to 12-year low to as much as RM4.5 to 1USD as Obama’s Yes We Can (actually US voters deemed it as Cannot after 8 years) is making way for Trump to make America Great Again. Looks like we are missing the Mahathir’s train to Vision 2020, and will wait for Najib’s China-made high speed rail to TN50, another 30 years more no Anil’s readers could live long enough to witness?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Out of topic but pertinent:
Two more Singapore Environment Council senior management staff terminated
https://sg.news.yahoo.com/two-more-senior-management-staff-from-singapore-environment-council-terminated-no-reason-given-133058594.html
My advice for those (appointed) in the Pg transport Council & Penang Forum:
Be prepared for any possible termination should the CAT (out of ‘its’ whims) decides to do so.
Anyway, any atrocious behaviour of SingLand PAP is laudable & copy-cat-able!

zoro
Guest
zoro

you mean employer has no right to terminate employees? no wonder tun lang make civil SERVANT as TUN and public who are the paymaster paying taxes have to bow to them.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Forever talking nonsense…

zoro
Guest
zoro

forever complain, blame, kau beh kau bu and ah gee and ah jo just mongkok and grow up

zoro
Guest
zoro

UDAng under gilakan fed gomen. Tun lang will be more happy when gilakan is back in power. More development after see current development and buyers

Peng Keong
Guest
Peng Keong

Gerakan could possibly initiate another wave of redevelopment if elected to make for their ‘lost time’ since 2013. In short, Penang island could not escape frenzy development as the $$$ is there to make and the temptation is too hard to resist by developers and investors.

zoro
Guest
zoro

bn has so many parties and warlords. anil admit land are given and sold chirply. kl defense airbase sudah and not belum gone. what about airbase in butter worth?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Every Penangite should from now treat this CAT Regime with “No Money, No Talk, No Vote”. Give these recalcitrant political traders the same medicine & they may realise their foolhardiness. We don’t have 9-lives to play-the-fool with our present & future, but we do have human capacity to challenge, to fight & to vote out the very entities who misuse our trust placed in our votes. You want to sell what’s left in Penang for whatever financial gains to boast in annual stellar state balance sheet, the time will come for some political reckoning. Who gives you the notion we… Read more »

Julian Candiah
Guest

Was this sold by open tender or by direct negotiations ? I guess UDA has pre emptive rights so cannot do open tender. Overall a good move for the State to extricate itself from a delicate situation which it inherited from 1997 and 2001. Very impressed with Ideal Property skill set.

Hardy Heng
Guest
Hardy Heng

Can Anil start a petition for Penangites to reject the redevelopment plan by Ideal and keep Pulau Jerejak as a green lung?

People of Penang should make known to Ideal their unhappiness!