Penang Gerakan Pursues Taman Manggis Land Sale Issue

GEORGE TOWN, March 30 (Bernama) -- Penang Gerakan today asked the DAP-led state government to declassify all documents on the sale of Taman Manggis land allocated for housing for the hardcore poor.

Its secretary, Oh Tong Keong, said the land in Jalan Zainal Abidin was approved for the second phase of such housing by the state government administered by the Barisan Nasional.

He said the current DAP-led state government, which had sold the land, should furnish all documents on the sale and not just show that the BN state government had changed the development project there.

"I was informed that there were discussions to build government quarters on the land then but that was only at the discussion stage and there was no final decision," he said to reporters here.

Oh challenged Penang Housing and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo to declassify all the documents pertaining to the sale of the land.

"Whether houses for the hardcore poor or government quarters were built on the land under the BN administration, the land would have still been with the state government.

"However, today, the DAP government has sold the land to a private entity for commercial development," he said.

Oh, who is Tanjong BN chairman, said the first phase of 320 units of housing for the hardcore poor had been completed but the second phase of 272 units could not be implemented by the BN government as it lost the state in the 2008 general election.

He claimed that after the DAP took over the state administration, the 0.45-hectare land was sold to a private company for the construction of a 30-storey building comprising a hotel of 19 storeys, a hospital of six storeys and a parking lot of five storeys.

The issue of the Taman Manggis land came up again when Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the sale of parcels of land in Penang originally allocated for housing for the hardcore poor.

The DAP government claimed that the original proposal of housing for the hardcore poor on the Taman Manggis land had been changed to another development project in 2005.

Meanwhile, Penang UMNO Youth has again lodged a police report over the statutory declaration made by Phang Li Khoon who had sold a bungalow to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, allegedly below the market price.

Its treasurer, Mohd Hilme Ibrahim, said it wanted the police to investigate Phang's statement in the declaration that she did not have any business deal with the DAP-led Penang government.

He claimed that after scrutinising several documents, the movement found evidence that Phang was a shareholder in a company that was linked to a tender of the state government.

"Based on the evidence I gathered through a Facebook account of one Lim Siang See, Phang Li Koon holds a 30 per cent stake in the company. So, I ask the police to investigate this," he said to reporters after making the report at the Jalan Patani police station here today.






Follow @partigerakan