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Gerakan cries foul over sale of state land

26 Aug 2014, 4:05 PM
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Penang Gerakan cried foul that the DAP-led state government sold state land in trying to attract foreign investments.

Penang Gerakan secretary Oh Tong Keong said he was shocked to hear the news coming from State Executive Councilor Chow Kon Yew that the state government had done it.

“It is totally shirking of responsibility by the state government to protect the interests of Penangites because state lands belong to the people. They are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” Oh said in a press statement

Oh said that property prices in Penang have been rising fast and the state government would have to pay a sky-high amount if it wanted to re-acquire the land later. “Imagine that you have just sold off your house today for RM300,000. How much you have to pay for getting it back in a few years’ time?” Oh asked.

Oh said the state government is only the guardian of state land and it must use this “privilege” wisely.

Oh said that the state government had sold off one third of our state land in just six years in power, and there is only 8% left.

Oh is puzzled why the state government is still proud after “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.”

Oh also said that the decline in investment figures for Penang is an indisputable fact because they are data from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). It was reported that Penang’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plunged from RM10.4b in 2010 to only RM1.7b in 2013. “That’s an 82% drop,” Oh added.

Oh recalled that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement on June 27, 2014, saying the total investment in Penang was RM2.1b in 2009, went up to RM12.2b in 2010, before continuing to plunge on yearly basis to RM3.9b in 2013.

“Regardless of FDI or total investments, both figures went down,” Oh said.

Oh urged Lim and Chow to explain the reasons for the declining investments for Penang.

Oh reminded Chow that the state government is answerable to not only the opposition but all Penang rakyat. It is the DAP-led Penang state government that keeps stressing on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) and the Rakyat must be kept informed.

Oh said there are better ways to attract foreign investments. “Please don’t wait until you have finished selling all state lands, and regret later,” Oh added.

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