GEORGE TOWN, Apr 6 – Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman Teng Chang Yeow hold a press conference today said Penang BN has conducted a collection of data and research from news publication and the internet into leasehold land and reclamation land that were converted to freehold status in the state of Penang.
Under the previous BN Administration, leasehold land was granted between 30 and 60 years for industrial usage and 99 years for residential usage. Conversion of leasehold land to freehold status can only be granted on a very specific reason. Reclaimed land is granted on leasehold basis.
Rarely, existing natural land was granted on freehold basis to developer except for infrastructure development on cross subsidized approach such as the Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Expressway where 50 acres of land was granted as freehold. Abandoned projects were also given approval for conversion in order to revive the projects and to relieve the burden of property buyers such as the Queensbay Mall project.
Based on our research, only 50 acres of existing natural land and 103 acres of reclaimed land were approved from leasehold to freehold. In short a total of 153 acres of land was converted to freehold in 40 years of BN Administration. However, based on the research, the DAP Penang State Government had committed as well as had approved 1,426 acres of existing natural land and reclamation land from leasehold to freehold status without valid reasons.
“We are equally shocked that STP2 reclamation project in Gurney Drive which is still under reclamation had also been committed to be granted freehold status. This is almost 10 times more than the acreage approved by BN Administration. All these happened in only 10 years of DAP administering the Penang State Government.
“The People of Penang should also ask whether was it right to give commitment to convert land to freehold status when the land is yet to be reclaimed? Converting land to freehold basis will deny the future generation of land for development planning especially in affordable housing.
“Land price will surge to a level not reachable by common Penang people and subsequently, house prices will also be impacted because of the conversion. This is already a real issue faced by Penang people who are unable to afford a house on a reasonable price,” said Teng.
Such trend can only be stopped by denying the DAP and Pakatan Harapan a strong mandate in Penang in the coming general elections. It’s still time to Save Penang for the future generation. Parliament will be dissolved tomorrow to pave way for the 14th general election.
Also present were Penang Gerakan Secretary Hng Chee Wey, Vice Chairman Oh Tong Keong, Lee Boon Ten and Gerakan Coordinator for Air Itam Constituency Albert Tan Kah Leong. — PN