Gurney Drive land for RM475 psf?

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 24 Mar 2018

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has challenged Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy to get him a piece of land on Gurney Drive for RM475 psf.

The MCA deputy president said few people believe Dr Ramasamy’s comments that the land, which was used as payment to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up for the Penang undersea tunnel and three paired roads project, is only worth RM475 psf today.

“In a ceremony on Jan 15, 2016, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng witnessed a signing of a memorandum of agreement, where the SPV had sold 50 acres of this very land to a listed company for RM2.83bil – or a land price of RM1,300 psf,” he said.

Dr Wee said the land value for another mixed development nearby was also much higher than RM475 psf.

“Therefore, I would like to ask Penang Deputy Chief Minister II to back up his words and tell me where I can buy prime seaside land on Gurney Drive for RM475 psf,” he said yesterday.

Dr Wee’s statement was made in response to Dr Ramasamy’s comments which appeared in an online portal on Sunday, in which he accused Dr Wee of not giving an objective analysis of the Penang undersea tunnel project.

Dr Wee said if Dr Ramasamy could get the land for him at RM475 psf, MCA is willing to donate half of the profits to a charity that would benefit Malaysian education.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department had earlier said that Penang people might stand to lose RM20bil as a result of the Penang project.

The sum included the actual project cost of RM6.34bil, RM3bil in toll collections, RM9bil in associated projects to support the property project by the SPV and RM2.2bil in loss of land value appreciation.

Dr Wee pointed out that the construction cost of the tunnel – RM3.6bil – was to be paid with a land-swapping funding model at RM1,300 psf as valued in 2013.

He said when the construction of the tunnel begins 10 years later, as stated in the contract, the land value of the said land would have appreciated greatly.

If based on a 5% yearly appreciation, the RM3.6bil worth of land would worth RM5.8bil in 2023, he said.

Dr Ramasamy, however, dismissed his calculation as “mere speculation”.

“Yes, even if the land is worth much more and not on the scale mentioned by Wee, so what? How could he say that this is the fault of the Penang government?” he said.

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