Saturday, December 02, 2017

Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun should look into the mirror before false making accusations of “unrestrained land sale” in Penang

In a statement on Thursday, the MCA Vice-President, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun accused Penang of being “unrestrained in its sale of land”. She referred to the 2016 Auditor-General’s (AG) report to show that a substantial portion of the state’s income came from the sale of land and land transfer fees.

Chew could not be more wrong in her baseless accusations.  In fact, exactly the reverse is true.

Despite the current Pakatan government’s ‘restrained’ sale of land, we have managed to receive income which far exceeds that received under the previous BN government’s policy of ‘unrestrained land sale’.  The statistics could not be more blatantly clear.

BN’s rule over Penang saw the sale of 3,661 acres of state land in the 15 years before 2008. Under Pakatan leadership, only 106.1 acres of state land was sold over the past 10 years.  If Chew didn’t fail her mathematics, she should have figured that Pakatan has barely sold 3% of what BN sold!

More pertinently, Penang lead by Pakatan received RM1.11 billion for its sale of 106.1 acres whereas the BN state government only raised RM1.06 billion from 3,661 acres of land.   In other words, the Penang state government today collected more money despite selling only a tiny fraction of the land sold by BN.  This was achieved simply because the Pakatan government carried out open tenders for its sale.

By the very fact that we have successfully sold these land for very substantially higher prices than the BN government, of course it would naturally result in a higher contribution from land revenue to the state coffers, as reported by the AG.

In addition, figures from the BN’s era from 2002 to 2007 AG’s report also showed the sale and transfer of state land was a key contributor to state. Hence, the only difference was Pakatan received much more despite selling much less.

What amazes me however, is the cheek Chew Mei Fun has to actually criticise Penang on the alleged ‘unrestrained land sale’.

As exposed earlier, even when Chew was the Member of Parliament for my current constituency, her party MCA acquired an acre of prime land from the then BN state government for a measly RM1 per square feet (psf) in 2007.  Today, the land is worth as much as RM400psf. Despite her refusal to take responsibility for the transaction, she admitted to being fully aware of it.  And this is just one of the hundreds and perhaps thousands of land which MCA has benefited from BN state governments across the country.

So the question for Chew is, what moral standing does she have to chide the Penang state government over land sale conducted via open tenders, when her own party has effectively abused its position in power to profit themselves and betray the trust the voters had placed in them?

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