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Thursday, July 19, 2012

'State Umno leaders behind Balik Pulau land sale'


Land belonging to Malays in the southern tip of the island has been sold off to private developers by the top Umno leaders in Penang, says PKR Balik Pulau division leader Abdul Halim Hussin.
penang state assembly speaker abdul halim hussinThis puts to shame the constant allegations by Umno that the Pakatan Rakyat state government has been depriving Penang Malays of their land, Abdul Halim told a press conference today.
He then revealed documentary evidence on the sale of land in Kampung Terang to a third party by Bukit Gelugor Umno division leader and BN strategy implementation chief Omar Faudzar and Musa Sheikh Fadzir, who is Bukit Mertajam Umno division chief.
According to the Companies Commission of Malayia documents, Omar and Musa are directors of the company that sold the land to the third party.
"We regret that this has happened. According to our research, the transaction was done only recently, and the brokers are state Umno leaders," said Abdul Halim, who is also Penang state assembly speaker.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was also present at the press conference called by Abdul Halim.
Umno leaders and assemblypersons have been in the forefront in condemning Lim and Pakatan Rakyat for grabbing land from the Malays and for marginalising the community.
Malay rights pressure group Perkasa has been organising rallies to demand more benefits for the Malays and attacking the state government for ignoring the community's plight.
‘Don't blame state for land grab'
Abdul Halim pointed out that the 9.8-acre parcel in Kampung Terang was bought from the villagers on Jan 31 at RM8.5 million and sold to a property developer in May for RM13.5 million.
Within a period of just four months, he said, the brokers made a profit of RM5 million.
"It is any person's right to enter into such transactions but it is ironical that the opposition party - Umno - has been blaming the Pakatan state government of grabbing land belonging to Malays," he said.
If Umno wanted to help the Malays, it should have entered into a joint venture with a government agency, such as the Urban Development Authority, to develop the land.
NONEThis would benefit the villagers, instead of 'exploiting' them to reap profit from their land, he added.
Abdul Halim said the involvement of the Umno leaders such as Omar (right) and Musa in the direct selling of land also contributed to the rising cost of land and property in the state.
He described them as "brokers who contribute to the speculation on property and land prices" and that this was akin to "gambling to destabilise the prices" of the two most-sought-after things in Penang.
"We hope their grassroots members will go back to Umno and ask them how have they helped the Malays.
"They say one thing in public to show their support for the Malays but then do something else behind the people's back. I call this exploitation," Abdul Halim added.

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