Two days ago, I promised to release some of my "Soalan-soalan Bongkar" for YAB CM Lim Guan Eng. This is so that to prepare his answers, and make full use of the period during which I am on an overseas trip – a trip I had planned a long time ago.
These are just some of the questions that I plan to ask:
(1) RFP awarded to a financially doubtful company.
Please explain why the Taman Manggis RFP was awarded to KLIDC in 2010 when the audited statement for KLIDC Sdn Bhd for that year had stated KLIDC had negative assets, including an Auditor's "Emphasis of Matter" stating that there existed significant doubts as to whether the company could continue as a going concern?
If your answer is that you were not aware of it at the time of the award, were steps taken to ask the company to rectify its position?
(2) Land allegedly too small for a 17-floor flat, but big enough for 30-floors hotel/medical centre.
Why did you use the excuse that the Taman Manggis land was too small for a 17-floor low-cost housing project (meant for the poor and low-income Penangites), but the very next year after the RFP had been awarded to KLIDC - the same piece of land was big enough for a 30-floors hotel/service apartments complex and medical centre?
(3) Commercial value substantially increased via land use changes granted by state government
Do you agree that the commercial value of the Taman Manggis land would have increased substantially after the state government changed the land use conditions from 100% medical centre to one that allowed a 30-storey high-rise complex comprising of 70% hotels/service apartment and 30% medical centre just one year after the RFP was awarded to KLIDC?
After this shocking change in land use conditions (made after the tender was awarded) was exposed on social media, this approval was subsequently changed by the state government to 33% hotel/apartment and 66% medical facilities. Do you agree that this is a serious breach of the tender process that gave KLIDC an unfair advantage over other bidders?
(4) Planning and Building approval given to a company with no reported employees and revenues.
Please explain why did the Penang state government still approve the planning and building approvals to KLIDC - despite KLIDC showing negative net assets, zero employees and no revenues - even to the extent of renewing and extending the Taman Manggis leasehold terms up to the maximum allowable 99 years in April 2015?
(5) Will you apologise to me?
KLIDC owner, Datuk Tang Yong Chew, confirmed in his interview with Nanyang that the sales agreements were indeed signed. This is exactly what I had exposed. Will you apologise to me for calling me "Menteri Khabar Angin", when I have revealed the actual agreements (duly signed and stamped), which are now confirmed to be in existence?
(6) Was KLIDC reprimanded for attempt to flip the land via a backdoor sale of all shares of the company?
Why was the Penang government not aware of this backdoor attempt to sell the land (purely intended to make a windfall profit)? Why hasn't the Penang state government reprimanded the owner for attempting to sell the land (meant for the poor and low-income Penangites) though this backdoor transaction?
(7) Land and project valuation now closer to RM70.6m from RM11.5m despite no physical work having been done on land in almost 6 years
If KLIDC were to be purchased for a total of RM70.6 million (as per the exposed signed and stamped agreements) and was done for the purpose of obtaining bank financing (as revealed by the KLIDC owner), would you agree that RM70.6 million is a good indicator of the true value of the Taman Manggis land and project – despite there not having been any physical development on the land for close to 6 years?
(8) No progress on Penang projects after 6 years.
Is it normal practice that a privatisation project by the Penang state government be left idle and undeveloped for almost 6 years without invoking any cancellation, reprimands or penalties to the party that had been awarded the RFP?
(9) BN’s timely expose might have stopped backdoor sale of land
According to the stamped and signed share-sales agreements, the final date for payment was on the 22nd March 2016.Do you agree that YB Datuk Shabuddin Yahya's timely exposure of the under-priced bungalow, and Taman Manggis scandal in Parliament earlier on the 17th March 2016 might have stopped the completion of the sale?
(10) Penang government land deals of tens of billions raises valid concerns from the public
Since the year 2008, the Penang government has been involved in various state land sales and reclamation rights deals allegedly worth between RM30 billion to RM40 billion. What is your assurance to the Penang’s rakyat that there are no similar backdoor deals that will help the unscrupulous to reap windfall profits from under-valued state land at the expense of the rakyat?
(11) Phang Li Koon may have sold her Bungalow at a lossIt is easy to grasp that, when Phang Li Koon bought the 25 Jalan Pinhorn bungalow she must have secured a loan on the property to finance the purchase.
If this is the case, don't you think it is safe to conclude that apart from letting go millions in profits from property price appreciation (accumulated for 7 years in 2015) she would have lost substantial amount of money when she sold you the bungalow at RM2.8 million - since the accumulated rental collected throughout the tenancy, and RM300k gross profit would not have been sufficient to cover legal costs, interest (estimated RM700k) and renovation cost she had confirmed to have incurred?
(12) Penang CM's property price cheaper (on psf basis) as compared to Penang government’s affordable home scheme.
How will you explain to the buyers of state affordable housing in Penang that the price (per square foot) that they paid for their units (of up to RM400psf) is much higher than the price (per square foot) that you paid for prime land for your own home (RM275psf)?
(13) Hard to conceive that no one will check market value before making multi-million ringgit investment.
Do you think that it is reasonable that someone making a multi-million ringgit house purchase, and taking out a RM2.1 million loan will not, at least, do a check on the market value of the property that they intend to buy?
(14) Please confirm if you know JPPH’s valuation price and/or market price at time of purchase.
Putting aside the nonsensical ‘no swimming pool’, ‘bad fengshui’, ‘cultural prejudice’ and ‘suka-sama-suka’ answers forwarded recently by DAP leaders, can you confirm once and for all whether or not you were fully aware that the property that you bought was below JPPH valuation and market value?
(15) Phang Li Koon is long-time employee who became business partner to KLIDC's owner.
The owner of KLIDC had recently admitted to the press that Miss Phang Li Koon was his employee for over 20 years whom he later made his business partner to manage his business in Penang.Were you aware of this relationship when you purchased the bungalow in 2015?
Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General
Whilst we are still waiting for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan to return home for the debate he had challenged me, he has released 15 questions he intended to ask during the debate. Clearly this is his desperate attempt to distract attention from the fact that he had run away overseas after I had immediately accepted his debate challenge.
Unlike Abdul Rahman, I will not run away. But I will return the favour by also asking him 15 questions so that when he is enjoying himself overseas he can formulate his replies during the debate – if it ever takes place.
1. Housing is under federal government purview according to the Federal Constitution. Can he deny that building PPR(people housing project) is the responsibility of the Federal government with maintenance of the flats done either by the state or Federal government? Why is Penang marginalised with the lowest number of PPR built with 999 units out of a total of 102,118 units nationally(or a mere 0.98%)?
2. If he claimed that Taman Manggis was meant for PPR(People Housing),explain how a layout plan submitted by the National Housing Department(under his Ministry) in 2001 earmarked Taman Manggis not for PPR(People’s Housing) but for “future development?”
3. Is he going to deny that the previous BN had given up on building PPR and instead intended to do mixed development, including shophouses? This was proposed by ex-EXCO member and current Penang BN Chair Teng Chang Yeow and supported by the then Penang Chief Minister in the declassified EXCO minutes on 2005?
4. How can he made false claims that the present state government sold land meant for PPR when it is the previous BN state government that had rejected in 2007, a proposal by the Federal government for the Taman Manggis land to be converted for housing purposes.
5. How can he personally escape responsibility when the Ministry currently proposes to increase the price of low-cost housing from RM42,000 to RM65,000 and low-medium cost housing from RM72,500 to RM100,000, which is strongly opposed by the Penang state government?
6. As Taman Manggis is only one acre, does he deny that Federal government housing guidelines requires the minimum size for public housing to be 2 acres as announced by the then Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung on 13 July 2012?
7. Does he deny that the density and plot ratio throughout Malaysia, not only in Penang, is much higher for commercial property as compared to housing, where the height of the commercial building is alsohigher?
8. Why does the Minister refuse to acknowledge that under BN from 2001-7 only 5,124 units of public housing was built(4,355 low-cost and 769 low-medium cost) as compared to Pakatan government’s from 2008-2015 of 16,199 units of public housing (8,092 of low cost and 8,107 of low-medium cost)?
9. How can the Minister say that the sale of the land was corrupt when it was done by open tender and not closed tender? How come KLIDC, which won the open tender by offering the highest price for the land, was able to pay in full the tender price of RM11.5 million, despite the claims that it was in financial trouble,?
10. Is the Minister willing to admit that the title document is the definitive evidence of land ownership? Why then question the land title that still states the land ownership remains in the hands of KLIDC, not other parties as claimed, and with the express conditions that 66% of the land use must be for hospital with the remainder 34% for hotel and service suites that cannot be sold to the public(not 70% commercial and 30% hospital as claimed)?
11. If a Sales & Purchase Agreement for sale of shares is not completed, without a single cent being paid, then it is either a breach of contract or a cheating case, then knowing the share sale agreement is not completed why does he still insist that the shares of KLIDC has been sold? Does he not owe me an apology for disputing the state government’s explanation that we have not been informed by KLIDC of any proposed share transfer and the companies search at Companies Commission of Malaysia reveals that the shares ownership of KLIDC remains unchanged.
12. The state government sold by open tender in 2010 at a price of RM11.5 million, higher than the market price. Does the Minister dispute the valuation made by the Federal government’s Valuation & Property Services Department of Taman Manggis land in 2009, of RM8.5 million? BN offered RM22.4 million two years later in 2012, but only paid 1%, which was forfeited when BN could not pay the remainder 99%.
13. How can state land sold by the state government be corrupt or under-valued when it is sold by open competitve tender? Or is the land sold by PERDA at a loss of RM15.2 million justified because it was not done through an open competitive tender?
14. Has my landlady made any special or extraordinary benefit from the state government by selling her house to me? Instead, both of us has been subjected to a vicious trial by media by BN-controlled media as committing wrongdoing. Even my reply that I do not know about UMNO’s claims that my house is worth RM6.5 million has been twisted and distorted to that I do not know the value of my house.
15. Will you finally admit that the maximum affordable housing price of RM400,000 is fixed by the Federal government as announced by the Prime Minister himself during the 2012,2013 and 2014 Budget and PR1MA websites? Why do you not credit the state government for allocating 11.1 acres of land in Jalan S.P. Chelliah to build 2,093 units of affordable homes as an alternative, that is 10 times bigger than Taman Manggis?
These are my first 15 questions and there will be more during the debate. I hope that he does not disappoint Malaysian public by leaving for another overseas trip again.
LIM GUAN ENG