KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was asked in Parliament to explain the sale of a plot of state land originally allocated for low-cost housing projects, causing a ruckus.
Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) claimed that Lim’s purchase of a RM2.8mil house in Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, last year was undervalued and could be linked to a RM11mil land deal meant for low-cost houses in 2012.
Shabudin said MACC and the ministry should investigate the claims, which was divulged to him by sources in Penang.
“To me, there is basis for an investigation, and the local housing committee and the Penang government has to give an explanation through Parliament on the status of the land, which was meant for the building of low-cost houses,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby yesterday.
He claimed that Lim had rented the 943.98sq m house for seven years at RM5,000 a month, before buying it from the landlord for RM2.8mil last October.
“The house was valued at RM2.5mil when he rented it seven years ago and was renovated. However, the house was sold to Lim at an undervalued amount of RM2.8mil,” he said, adding that the actual value was RM6mil.
Shabudin claimed that the owner of the house was linked to a shareholder of Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre Sdn Bhd (KLIDC) which purchased the 0.45ha land meant for low-cost housing in 2012 from the state. The Taman Manggis land was allocated for a 270-unit affordable homes project which was to be rented to the poor at RM100 a month.
KLIDC proposed to build a specialist clinic centre and hotel on the land.
“I am not accusing him. I am just telling the facts about what happened. It’s up to MACC to investigate if anything happened or not,” he said.
On Twitter, Lim refuted Shabudin’s allegation that he had bought the house for an unusually low price. He said the house was bought through a subsale and not from the developer.
“More lies by Umno trying to equate me with BN. Bought 40-year-old house through sub-sale not through developer, will reply tomorrow,” Lim tweeted yesterday.
Earlier, Shabudin was interrupted on several occasions by opposition MPs but kept on talking amid the shouts and jeers.
Joining the fray was Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang) who chided the Opposition for preventing Shabudin from speaking.
Deputy Speaker Datuk Ismail Said allowed Shabudin to continue as the question was directed to the relevant ministry.
“Even though Bagan MP is not here, he will have the chance to speak when the minister replies to Shabudin’s queries,” he said.
Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club’s chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad said the Opposition MPs were practising double standards.
“They jumped up to defend Lim and tried to prevent Shabudin from speaking by making a lot of noise. They say no freedom of speech and democracy but don’t respect Shabudin’s rights,” he said.
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