‘Penang’s RM200m profits from selling govt lands’

But the Penang CM hits back at Chua Tee Yong by saying that the previous BN administration sold more land in the state.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

MCA has hit out at the Penang government for resorting to selling land to amass hundreds of millions of ringgit last year, saying that it was a short-term solution that came at the expense of the state’s citizens.

MCA Young Professionals Bureau Chairman Chua Tee Yong said the move not only created unsustainable income for the government, but had also deprived Penangites of affordable homes.

“In long term, the state government will be richer but the people will be poorer. This is because state government earns their income from selling land but the people [grow] poorer as they need to pay a higher price for home ownership,” said Chua in a statement today.

He said developers would raise housing prices to cushion the hefty sum they paid for the government land, and this would ultimately force home-seekers in Penang to shoulder the extra cost.

“The trading of land in Penang is definitely causing land prices in Penang to increase. Hence, housing prices in Penang will fly as well. This will only harm the rights of Penangites, as they need to bear the hike in prices for land and house,” said Chua, who is Labis MP.

He pointed out that rather than selling off the land, the government could have developed it and reaped the profit from the ensuing commercial activities.

“The most important (thing) is the government still possesses the land title and they could allocate the land to build more affordable homes for the rakyat.”

He said the third quarter of the Auditor-General Report 2012 revealed the state government had earned RM51.09 million more than what it had earned in 2011. RM200 million of its profits came from selling government land, said Chua.

“A government that relies on selling land to earn profit is a government that does not know how to draft a plan for long term economic growth, nor knows how to upgrade economic growth or enhance the income liquidity of the rakyat.

“DAP always (says) they that they are performing better [than] BN. Is that the best they can do?” he asked.