Perak Umno building land purchased at market rate

Some 800 participants in a convoy riding from the state Umno building during a Hari Raya event. — filepic

THERE was no hanky-panky or abuse of power in the sale of the Perak Umno building and the land along Jalan Sultan Nazrin Shah.

State Rural Development, Agriculture, Plantation, Information and Human Capital Development Committee chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad (BN-Kota Tampan) said Perak Umno had in 2001 paid Cash Hotel Sdn Bhd a sum of RM9.63mil for the land and building next to the company’s hotel, then known as the Casuarina Parkroyal Hotel Ipoh.

“The sales and purchase of the property was based on a turnkey project concept.

“The property was in fact abandoned and after several failed attempts to sell it off, Cash Hotel completed the building and sold it to Perak Umno,” he said in his winding-up speech on Monday.

Noting that the Perak Development Corporation held a 63% stake in Cash Hotel through its subsidiary the Perak Corporation Bhd, Saarani said it was untrue that the state government had given away the building or land to Perak Umno for a song.

He was dispelling a statement by Wong Kah Woh (DAP-Canning) who had alleged abuse by the then state executive councillors from Umno in approving the RM100 nominal fee for the Perak Umno building even though it sat on prime land.

According to Saarani, Cash Hotel had initially paid a RM1.3mil premium for the land encompassing the hotel and the Perak Umno building.

“It was subsequently returned to the state government under Section 197 of the National Land Code after which the plot was separated and two new grants were issued.

“As the previous owner had paid the premium for the land, the state government approved a nominal premium of RM100 to be paid by Perak Umno.

“There was no abuse or unethical practice in the award of the property as the then Menteri Besar and another state executive councillor with interest in Perak Umno had exited during the meeting in which the nominal premium was decided upon,” he added.

Meanwhile, after years of being abandoned, the Silveritage Galleria on Jalan Sultan Nazrin Shah will be redeveloped and transformed into a tourist destination.

In his winding-up speech, state Industry, Investments and Development Corridor Committee chairman Datuk Mohammad Zahir Abdul Khalid (BN-Kamunting) said renovations would be carried out at the complex to turn it into a tourist centre for Ipoh.

“Work is expected to commence early next year and should be completed a year later,” he said.

Earlier, state Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Consumer Affairs, Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Committee chairman Datuk Samsudin Abu Hassan (BN-Ayer Kuning) told the August House that the complex was being redeveloped by the Perak Development Corporation and had the potential to be a platform to promote products by small and medium industry entrepreneurs.

Once renovated, the complex would become a one-stop centre for Perak’s local produce, he added.

“At least 50 lots will be allocated to local entrepreneurs to promote and sell their produce.

“Efforts will be made to ensure the complex remains a major attraction for local as well as foreign tourists,” he said, adding that similar products would be sold at the Kompleks Perniagaan Medan Gopeng or better known as Megopleks nearby.

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