Sale of PDC-owned land to private company: Muda demands explanation

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Muda has demanded a thorough explanation from Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow on the rationale behind the sale of 223.6ha of land to a private company.

State Muda information head Danial Abdul Majeed also supported the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce's (PCCC) action in questioning the sale.

"The sale of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) land in Byram, in the Seberang Prai Selatan district, to UMECH Construction Sdn Bhd for a total of RM646.02 million through direct negotiations is absurd.

"How can land of this size be sold to a private company without an open tender?

"Apart from the questionable direct negotiation process, the price of land sold at a very low rate is also a question that the Penang government needs to answer. PDC sold the land at a price of RM26.53 per square foot, when the market price can reach up to RM80 per square foot.

"I urge Chow, who is also the PDC chairman, to give a thorough explanation of the rationale behind this decision. The people need to know," he said.

Danial said, previously, PDC controlled the sale of land in industrial areas and interested parties had to apply to the PDC and be thoroughly reviewed.

"However, this procedure does not apply to the sale of land in BKIP2 (Batu Kawan Industrial Park 2).

"This triggers the question mark of many parties who are affected by this decision," he added.

The Penang government had defended the sale of the PDC-owned land in Byram to UMECH.

Chow had said UMECH had been chosen as PDC's collaborative partner to develop the new industrial area, and that the private company's participation was a result of promotion done during the Dubai Expo 2020.

He had said the selection of UMECH was done according to the due diligence procedure.

Chow had also defended the direct negotiation project as one of the methods to get the best offer.

The PCCC had recently raised questions on the awarding of the project through direct negotiations and why local companies were not given the opportunity in the project.

There were also questions raised that the land could have been transferred to a developer.

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