Declassify documents, state told

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Gerakan has asked the state government to reveal the full minutes of the state exco meeting in 2005 where a proposal was made to turn the remaining land in Taman Manggis into a mixed development.

State party chief Teng Chang Yeow, who was in the state exco then, said he needed to verify the minutes because the minutes read out by Penang Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo were only excerpts which could have been quoted out of context.

“If the then state administration approved the proposal, then they should publish the full minutes. After reading the excerpt of the minutes, I strongly believe it was quoted out of context leaving out the main points,” he said yesterday. Jagdeep had earlier distributed a copy of the minutes to the media.

Teng, who was the Tourism Development and Environment chairman in 2005, said that even if there was a proposal to amend the original plan and build government quarters, the proposal was meant to take care of the well-being of low income civil servants.

Teng said the minutes stated he was merely putting up a proposal to amend it to a mixed development, and the state secretary was directed to prepare the working paper for the consideration of the state exco.

“I cannot recall whether the relevant paper was tabled and approved in the subsequent exco meeting,” he said in a statement.

Penang Gerakan secretary Oh Teong Keong said the state government should declassify all tender documents in relation to the Taman Manggis land deal.

“They should not only declassify the documents that make the previous state government look bad. They should make public all documents related to the land deal,” he said.

Oh said the land in Taman Manggis should not have been sold off “just like that” as it was a state government-owned land meant for the people of Penang, whether it had been earmarked for the People’s Housing Project (PPR) or a mixed project.

Penang Gerakan Youth legal and public complaints bureau chief Jason Loo also made a similar call for declassification of the tender documents for the Taman Manggis land.

“They can prove their transparency by declassifying these documents.

“They should do this if they have nothing to hide,” he said.





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