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Penang NGO questions status of two plots of state land

GEORGE TOWN: Questions are being raised about the status of two plots of state land along Burmah Crescent.
Penang Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) adviser Yan Lee said the movement had been informed about a proposal to have the plots, measuring 3.24ha in size, transferred to the Chief Minister Incor­porated (CMI).
CMI is a state investment arm set up in 2009 to manage assets and properties belonging to the state government.
Yan Lee said he had e-mailed CMI about the matter since March this year but had yet to receive a reply.
“In the Peel Avenue saga, it was also Chant which exposed the state government’s transfer of the prime state land to CMI, which was later sold to a third party for a development project without public consultation.
“So now, we want to ask the state government whether the two plots will be transferred to CMI and if yes, for what purpose?” he said at a press conference at the site yesterday.
A quick observation revealed that some houses and a temple are loca­ted on the two plots.
Yan Lee said the information on the proposed land transfer was revealed by the same source who informed Chant about the plot in Peel Avenue.
In the Peel Avenue case, a 2.6ha state-owned plot was transferred to CMI before a 99-year lease on it was granted to Island Hospital last December for RM156mil.
It was reported that the hospital planned to build a medical city on the land, which will include an additional 700 beds and a hotel.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had maintained that no open tenders were called because it was treated as a foreign direct investment in a high-value industry.
The state government was bound by non-disclosure agreements re­­quired by investors.
Yan Lee also urged the state go­­vernment to clarify whether there were plans to build a hotel on Penang Hill, which the group has highlighted since last year.
CMI assistant manager Siti Hajar Abdul Rahim said the investment arm would have to check on the claims by Chant about the Burmah Crescent plots before making any statement.
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