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Wednesday September 3, 2008

Guan Eng: PGCC as good as dead

GEORGE TOWN: The proposed RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) has been rejected by the Penang Municipal Council and is “as good as dead”, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the developer had failed to meet the council’s require-ments.

“When we took over the state government on March 8, we clearly expressed that the developer must follow the law.

“We did not interfere in the council’s decision. If the developer had not submitted the layout plans on time and as required, how

do you expect the project to get approved? The PGCC project in

the original inception is dead,” Lim told a press conference at the Penang Skills Development Cen-tre.

Council president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman confirmed that the project, on a 105.2ha site in Batu Gantong, was rejected in early August.

The project, earmarked for the site now occupied by the Penang Turf Club (PTC), was announced by developer Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd in September 2007 but ran into opposition from several non-governmental organisations and residents’ associations.

When asked how the rejection would affect the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) of which it was a key component, Lim said the NCER plans would have to comply with the state’s decision.

“This is the state government’s prerogative and they know we won't accept any interference,” Lim said.

On the possibility of the developer resubmitting plans, Lim replied: “The developer can resubmit they want to and it’s up to the council to look into this.

“As to whether the project can ever be ‘resurrected’, we will see, but at the moment, it is practically dead.”

On the development of a new racecourse in Batu Kawan where the PTC had intended to move, Lim said he did not know of any progress on the issue and chose to refrain from commenting as there was a court case pending.

During the press conference, Lim and investPenang executive chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon announced that the state’s investment arm was restructuring its management.

“We have done away with the positions of chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer and established the new post of general manager.”

Lim added that the post would be held by former investPenang CEO (2005 to February 2007) Wan Zailena Noordin.

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