MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Thursday, November 30, 2023

Former 1MDB land in Penang now under different company, says CM


Chow Kon Yeow said a caveat on all transactions on the 95ha was only placed three months after the land had been transferred to Ayer Itam Properties Sdn Bhd on April 17, 2018.

GEORGE TOWN: Three parcels of land in Air Itam here, once belonging to a 1MDB subsidiary, were transferred to another company in 2018, the Penang assembly was told today.

Chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said the land was transferred to Ayer Itam Properties Sdn Bhd on April 17, 2018.

He said a block on all transactions on the 95ha was only placed three months later on July 11 the same year.

“A forfeiture notice was filed on the said lands at the request of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for an investigation into money laundering,” he said when winding up the debate on the 2024 state budget.

Chow’s revelation comes a week after he said no plot of land in Penang was found to be registered in the name of the insolvent state fund. His statement was based on current land administration records.

In 2018, 1MDB had wanted to change the ownership of the said land as the company had been renamed from 1MDB RE (Ayer Itam) Sdn Bhd to Ayer Itam Properties Sdn Bhd.

In 2018, then finance minister Lim Guan Eng said the Air Itam land was “secretly” sold to Silk Road Southeast Asia Real Estate Ltd, a company based in the Cayman Islands.

He said the land was sold for RM2.7 billion on Aug 24, 2017, netting a profit of RM1.32 billion based on the original RM1.38 billion purchase price.

The sale was carried out through the disposal of the land’s owner, 1MDB unit My City Ventures Sdn Bhd, to Silk Road via a share sale agreement, Lim said.

However, past reports indicated that the land was never transferred due to a caveat placed on the land.

Chow said while a block on all transactions is placed through a registrar’s caveat, the landowners were free to develop the land as long as it was allowed by the local authorities.

He said the size of the land was large, and it was up to the federal government to develop it, reminding them of encumbrances in the form of “hundreds of squatters”.

Checks by FMT with the Companies Commission of Malaysia showed that Ayer Itam Properties Sdn Bhd remains under the ownership of Sentuhan Budiman Sdn Bhd, a company previously reported to be under the control of the finance ministry. - FMT

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