The Auditor-General's Report 2015 has cited the Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda) and its chairperson Shabudin Yahya for allegedly selling land below market price, and making a loss.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng asked why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has yet to act against Shabudin, who is Umno Tasek Gelugor MP.
The plot in question is situated along Jalan Dato Keramat near MRSM Transkrian Seberang Perai Selatan, which was reportedly sold for RM1.42 million last year.
“The market valuation by the Finance Ministry was over RM16.6 million, yet Perda sold it at only RM1.42 million, a loss of some RM15.2 million.
“The AG's Report agreed with me that there was no open tender and neither was there any current market valuation,” Lim said in a statement.
He said the only difference could be seen in the report which estimated the financial loss to the public to be about RM6.15 million.
However, Guan Eng added, the Penang government estimated the losses to Perda to be at RM15.2 million.
According to the AG's report, the justification for the sale of land at a lower price was not supported by a technical report.
Lim said Penang executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin has lodged a report with the MACC on the alleged land scandal.
“But so far there has been no action by MACC,” he added.
Lim said the report also revealed that there was another sale of 5.8 acres of land in Sungai Baong below market valuation by Perda, which incurred a loss of RM410,000.
“Perda should fully account for this grave inconsistency and come clean for these financial losses.
“MACC should also investigate this latest revelation by the AG's Report,” he added.
Lim noted that the report pointed out that for the same period, Perda’s management weakness also showed up in phase two of the Taman Panchur Utama housing project.
This is where the certificate of completion and compliance was issued 315 days from the date of the certificate of practical completion, he added.
“The defect liability period was not fully utilised and Perda had to pay penalties of RM67,124 due to the delay in handing over the keys to purchasers, and the quality of construction was less than satisfactory.
“Is Perda continuing to keep a deafening silence and not taking action against anyone in Perda for such mismanagement and financial wrongdoings that resulted in so much losses?” Lim queried.
Charged with two counts of corruption
In March, Shabudin first raised the issue of Lim purchasing a two-storey bungalow on Jalan Pinhorn allegedly below market value.
This prompted the MACC to probe the chief minister, and later charge him on two counts of corruption related to the purchase of his bangalow.
Lim has denied the charges, and his case will be mentioned at the Penang High Court for the second time on Dec 6.
Meanwhile, Shabudin has dismissed Lim’s claims and said Lim should compare various aspects of the issue and not only compare prices.
Perda was not a profit-driven agency, Shabudin said, but was set up to help rural folks by providing low-cost and affordable houses.
He told Lim not to question Perda's losses, saying the RM15 million loss he referred to was on acquisition rather than current value and what Perda did.
He said Perda was aware of the cost of land in the area and if it was sold at the current value, the houses to be built there would be valued at between RM400,000 and RM1.2 million.
He added that the RM15 million which Perda could have obtained has been distributed to the 250 potential buyers through the purchase of the houses.- Mkini