Penang exco: Nothing untoward in leaked Guan Eng memo


(Malay Mail Online) – An internal memorandum from Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng used by critics to claim corruption was part of a normal appeals process, said state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow.

The local government and traffic management chairman said the leaked document detailed the customary appeal against planning guidelines sent by private firms to the state planning committee, technical department, state excos and even the chief minister.

“The chief minister and state excos do receive such appeals and it is normal procedure to attach a note to the appeals before forwarding it to the relevant authorities for consideration,” he told reporters today.

He said any applicant for planning permission may submit appeals to increase the plot density or plot ratio, but these would be decided by the relevant authorities.

Chow then dismissed allegations that the leaked memo proved Lim had interfered in the offer of the land to Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre (KLIDC), the firm at the heart of a corruption claim against the chief minister.

He pointed out that the title of the memo patently stated that it was an application for planning approval, not to offer land, and was also dated two years after the firm won the tender for the plot in Taman Manggis.

Yesterday, the Malaysia-Today website published the memo dated April 20, 2012, accusing Lim of intervening in the award and approvals of the KLIDC project in Taman Manggis.

Chow today said that exemptions on plot ratio limits may be given for high-demand projects such as hotels and depending on location.

Lim has been accused of corrupt practices over the sale of Taman Manggis to KLIDC as well as his purchase of his RM2.8 million house for allegedly below market value from an individual critics linked to the firm.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is currently investigating the issue while Lim is set to debate the matter with the Urban Wellbeing, Local Government and Housing minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan on April 19.

Today, Lim confirmed that he will go ahead with the debate and hoped that Abdul Rahman would not back out from it.