GEORGE TOWN, Nov 10 – Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) urged the Penang DAP clarify the status of Pulau Jerejak, which reportedly will be developed into a luxury integrated resort. Its Chairman, Teng Chang Yeow, said the Chief Minister is taken to task over an announcement by Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB) – a 51:49 joint venture between UDA Holdings Bhd and the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) – that it has entered into an agreement with Penang-based Ideal Property to redevelop Pulau Jerejak.
He said as PDC chairman, the chief minister should come clean over what happened to the 49per cent stakes held by PDC in TIRSB. Teng questioned whether PDC had sold off the stakes to UDA or to Ideal Property, what was the selling price, and if so, was it done by an open tender or through other forms of negotiations? “As at today, nobody seems to know the actual situation. Has the state lost ownership of the ever-green Pulau Jerejak?”
He said the state government had on numerous occasions denied in the State Legislative Assembly of any development plan for Pulau Jerejak. He said the chief minister had earlier been quoted in the mass media that the state government was not selling the PDC’s stakes. “Why the dilly dally in making an official announcement to the people. Where is the transparency?”
Teng also questioned why the state government had delayed in gazetting Pulau Jerejak as a national forest reserve, despite being in office for eight years. “Is the delay caused by any plan to redevelop Pulau Jerejak, and if so, why can’t the chief minister tell the public the truth? Don’t be ambiguous.”
UDA Holding Bhd had said in a statement that TIRSB, which will ultimately be 100% controlled by UDA following a novation agreement, had inked a joint venture (JV) with Ideal’s subsidiary, Q islands Development Sdn Bhd, to redevelop the resort and the 80-acre land owned by TIRSB.
The statement further said a redevelopment master plan had been approved by Penang State Government. The plan comprises a bridge linking Pulau Jerejak to the main island, 1,200 units of residential development, a marina, four or five star hotels, a theme park, a 11.5km round island cycling track and related infrastructure to promote tourism in the state.