PENANG: May 17, 2008
The land title of the Penang Turf Club (PTC) is a freehold first grade grant, thus the land zoning status does not make any difference to its value.
Former state local government committee chairman Datuk Teng Hock Nan (pic) said regardless of the status, the landowner still had the right to take the case to the Appeals Board to request the state government to purchase the land should their development plan be rejected.
“Whether it’s zoned as ‘open space/recreational’ or ‘new de-velopment’, they are entitled to submit an application to deve-lop the land for whatever purpose.
“However, the state government has the final say on the type and scale of the development to suit the needs of the state,” Dr Teng told a press conference yesterday.
He was commenting on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s earlier statement about the previous state government not attempting to rezone the PTC to avoid having to purchase the property from the developer Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd.
Dr Teng said that only the final approved project would determine land value, not the land status as claimed by the latter.
“The current state government is free to im-pose any new condition for the development since the developer has yet to get the planning approval,” he said.
He explained that the previous state authority had rezoned the land when it drew up the structure plan for the whole state for the future planning requirements and directions in Penang.
Dr Teng also said the previous state government had rejected the original plan and had asked for an amendment to reduce the scale of development after almost two years of consideration and deliberation.
He said Lim should stop pushing the blame to the previous government when “the right to decide is in the hands of the new state government.
“Whatever plan that has been submitted is not important, the state government should decide whether to approve in total the RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project or consider to give priority to affordable housing that benefit the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lim said former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon should come clean on the issues concerning the PGCC project.
Lim said Dr Koh was the right person to step forward to address and answer issues like the rezoning of the Penang Turf Club (PTC) land.
“We want him to address the issues brought up as he chaired the State Planning Committee but he had failed to provide answers.”
Regarding future development on the land, Lim said it was for the private landowner to decide.
“Whatever land submission the owner makes will depend on whether the state approves it or not. At the moment, no approval has been given for any development.
“It remains status quo for now. Let us wait until the time comes,” he said.