GEORGE TOWN: A piece of land linked to the former owner of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s bungalow, had its designation changed after it was purchased, claimed a Penang Gerakan leader here today.
Tanjong Gerakan vice-chairman H’ng Khoon Leng said the contentious 1.1-acre land in Taman Manggis, fronting Jalan Burma here, was converted from a healthcare facility to ‘70pc hotel/service suite and 30pc healthcare’.
He said the change of use was done after the land was bought in an open tender in late 2011.
“The change is extraordinary and shocking. This would clearly give a commercial advantage as the land is now valued higher.
“Allowing the owners to build a hotel on the site would definitely push the valuation up.
“In layman terms, you have bid for a Proton Saga. You won the bidding process. Then later, that same Proton Saga is converted into a Mercedes-Benz. So, tell me if this is fair?” he queried.
Earlier, H’ng and other Penang Barisan Nasional leaders lodged a police report at the Pattani Road police station over the land sale.
In their report, they urged the police to investigate if there is an element of cheating.
H'ng also included a letter addressed to the land owner from the Northeast District Land Office dated Dec 7, 2011—where the change of use was approved.
The Taman Manggis land, bordered by Jalan Burma, Jalan Zainal Abidin and Lorong Selamat, was initially earmarked for the second phase of a low-cost housing project.
A Projek Perumahan Rakyat with 320 units was already built next to the vacant land.
A Kuala Lumpur-based company purchased the 0.4ha plot in an open tender at RM232 per square feet or RM11 million—to build a medical centre or hospital.
Penang Gerakan had raised their objections over the project late 2012, as the land was supposed to have been for low-cost housing; and the land was underpriced.