GEORGE TOWN: Dec 21, 2008
Some 20,000 owners of low and medium-cost flats developed on state land need not pay a premium to convert their leasehold titles to freehold status.
The exemption was made ''to give hope'' to low-income homeowners for the coming new year, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said after presenting aid to the underprivileged in Komtar.
''The decision was made at the state executive council meeting yesterday.
''These flat owners will only have to pay the processing fees for the applications.
''The majority of those who will benefit are those who own flats under the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and PDC Properties housing schemes,'' he said.
In June, Lim announced that residential leasehold landowners in Penang could apply for their property to be converted to freehold status upon paying a land premium and processing fee.
Lim said the state might consider giving those who had landed leasehold property on state land a discount on the premium price.
On another matter, Lim said Penang would boycott Arianna Events Management " the organiser of the aborted Kings of Tennis event.
''We supported the event because we took into account the views of people like Penang Heritage Trust president Dr Choong Sim Poey and Penang Tourism Action Council (PTAC) chairman Datuk Kee Phaik Cheen, who both supported the project.
''Now, the organiser has failed to deliver.''
Lim said the government would not make the same mistake again. ''Once bitten, forever shy,'' he said.
On Saturday, the company's director Arianna Teoh agreed to restore the damaged Esplanade field to its original state, five weeks after the event was cancelled.