The PGCC project has been the biggest land scam in Penang, Penang Chief Minister Guan Eng said today, adding there were a couple of other large scams still under investigation.
He was responding to a statement by Teng Hock Nan yesterday (see full statement below). The previous Penang state government had converted the Turf Club land from open recreational area to "new development" under the Penang Structure Plan gazetted in June 2007.
Critics claim the state lost between RM120 million and RM400 million in conversion fees as the conversion was done before the PGCC project was approved while the state forfeited RM1.5 billion in potential revaluation surplus, which it would have earned had it purchased the land from the Penang Turf Club itself instead of allowing the land to be sold to Abad Naluri. A priceless green lung has also been put in danger of being turned into a congrete jungle instead of into a People's Park.
Teng said yesterday the Municipal Council had not made any decision on the PGCC nor had the previous state government decided whether and how much premiums or charges to levy on Abad Naluri, the PGCC developer. "Therefore, since no decision has been made as yet, it is up to the new state government and the MPPP to make whatever decision that they think suitable with respect to the site and any development proposal, including whatever charges to be imposed."
In response, Guan Eng said: "I want to ask Koh Tsu Koon and Teng what are the consequences of (re)rezoning the land." He said he knew the consequences but he wanted Koh and Teng to tell him. "Show me you are on top of your job. You have been chief minister for 18 years. You tell me what are the consequences should we want to rezone it," he challenged Koh.
Guan Eng said all this with a smile. "Koh Tsu Koon is in big trouble," observed one journalist who was present.