Sarawak state urged to sell land at market value to developers

  • Community
  • Saturday, 09 May 2015

KUCHING: Several developers have contacted state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen about a piece of land in Batu Kawah which was the subject of a challenge from Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem in the just-concluded State Legislative Assembly sitting.

The 108ha land was alienated to Standard Parade Development Sdn Bhd by the state government for RM115mil, which Chong had earlier claimed was grossly underpriced as its market value was estimated to be over RM500mil.

In his winding-up speech last week, Adenan challenged Chong to find a buyer within a month who could pay the government up front in cash for the land and he would ask the company to withdraw from the project.

“Find us a developer prepared to pay RM550mil and develop the land according to the usual rules on planning, and I am prepared to persuade Standard Parade to pull out of the deal. You have 30 days,” Adenan told Chong, who is Kota Sentosa assemblyman, during the sitting.

Yesterday Chong told reporters that three developers had called him saying they were willing to pay RM550mil to purchase the land.

However, he said they were concerned about the 30-day deadline to pay the sum.

“It is unheard of in the commercial world for any land deal or transaction involving RM550mil to be negotiated and paid within 30 days. For such a large amount, three months will be a more reasonable period,” he said.

He also said the developers expressed concern that the government might make things difficult for them should they purchase the land.

As such, he requested Adenan to extend the 30-day period to three months and to give assurance that no unreasonable terms and conditions would be imposed on the successful purchaser.

Chong added that there was no rush for the government to go through with the agreement with Standard Parade, which allegedly involves the construction of two orphanages and a Sabati (Sarawak Badan Amal Tenaga Isteri-Isteri) building.

“Compared to the potential deal of RM550mil, whereby the state government stands to gain RM435mil, this will justify an additional two-month wait,” he said, urging Adenan to accept his requests.

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