Rep's allegations baseless, says owner of Penang Hill land
GEORGE TOWN: A landowner in Penang Hill has accused Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik of making accusations against his company in regard to hill-clearing without checking the facts.
Soon Chee Leng said Ng, who is also Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's political secretary, had made incorrect statements which had affected his company's reputation and operations.
Soon, who owns Karrinyup Sdn Bhd, said the company decided to set up a nutmeg plantation on a 10.8ha site in Penang Hill.
However, the area is only accessible from a hill path next to Hill Railway and passes through two pieces of land -- one belonging to a private land owner and the other owned by the state government.
Soon said they had applied for permission from both parties for passage through their land and had also sought the Land Office's permission to build a hill path.
He, however, admitted his company started work on the hill before getting the necessary approvals.
"While the clearing work was going on, an article appeared in a local Chinese daily alleging residents had complained of unapproved road work being carried out on the hill.
"We apologised to the state executive councillor who was in charge of hill land affairs and admitted to what we had done," he said, adding the Penang Island Municipal Council later issued a stop-work order.
However, he said the company recently built a retaining wall and zinc fence around its land.
This drew the attention of the Komtar assemblyman, who highlighted the matter at press conferences on May 11 and June 11.
"He made baseless allegations accusing us of resuming earthwork and road construction.
"It is unbecoming of Ng to mislead the people. All he is doing is trying to get cheap publicity."
He said Ng did not respond to two letters asking for clarification.
Ng could not be reached for comment.