Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has denied that state agency Penang Development Corporation (PDC) earned RM 1.7 billion from selling land since 2008.
Describing it as a misrepresentation, Lim said he wanted to correct the claims found in some BN-controlled newspapers.
"This is untrue. From 2008-2015, PDC sold RM 1.94 billion worth of land for industrial and mixed development purposes," Lim said in a statement today.
"PDC recorded a net profit of RM 147 million from the land sales of RM 1.94 billion," he added.
Lim said PDC would use the RM147 million in profits earned for economic development to make Penang a location of choice for investors.
Penang would also be made a destination of choice for tourists and a habitat of choice as a livable city.
PDC cannot sell land at high price
Lim said PDC’s profits would have been higher if the state agency was allowed to sell the land at a higher price.
"However PDC cannot do so because it has to perform its statutory duty of bringing in new factories to generate jobs and business opportunities for Penang.
"It must also attract retail outlets, such as IKEA and premium retail outlets, universities and hospitals to grow the services sector and tourism," Lim said.
The issue of land sale by PDC arose after Lim's critics questioned the huge hike in budget allocation for P01 (the offices of the chief minister and state secretariat).
Lim had then explained that this was due to a RM609.9 million loan facility to PDC for land acquisition and development in Seberang Perai.
The actual expenditure for P01 was not much different from this year’s RM161,588,160, Lim conceded.
The amount was increased to RM707,611,840, in the 2017 budget due to loans to PDC, he explained. - Mkini