Gerakan: Why The Peel Avenue Land Was Not Zoned As Medical Institution

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GEORGE TOWN, May 29 – Penang could have sought proposals from major international medical players before selling the Peel Avenue government land to a hospital company directly, Gerakan said today. State Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo said through a request for proposal, the state government could have vetted a list of top-notch potential hospitals to improve medical tourism in the state.

Loo said many facets of the sale remain unanswered and put forward a few questions regarding the sale to the Penang government. For instance, he said under normal circumstances, a government land up for sale would be rezoned (i.e. land use change) before it was sold to another party. He said by right the land should have been marked as land for a medical institution before being valued and sold.

He also asked why the land was under the ownership of state company Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), instead of the usual state bodies like Penang Development Corporation or the State Secretary’s Office. He said during Gerakan’s rule of the state government before 2008, all land sale matters were brought to the Land Committee, comprising state executive councillors and assemblymen.

“Is there a one-man decision-making procedure at work here? When and why was the land transferred to CMI? How many pieces of land have been transferred to CMI? Where was the proceeds of the sale paid to? The CMI account or any other account? How did the CMI spend the profit generated from all lands sales under the CMI” Loo questioned.

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