Audit: Penang land with lighthouse transferred to Chief Minister Inc without approval

The land belonged to the state but a lighthouse is situated on the land of around 8.2 acres, and the lighthouse is under the purview of the federal government through its northern region marine department. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
The land belonged to the state but a lighthouse is situated on the land of around 8.2 acres, and the lighthouse is under the purview of the federal government through its northern region marine department. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, April 6 — The site of a lighthouse here was alienated to the Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) without approval from the Land and Mines Department director general, the Auditor-General’s 2014 report for Penang revealed.

It noted that the application to alienate the land, located in the northeast district of the island, to CMI was approved by the state authority on June 28, 2011 and the qualified title was registered on December 5, 2011.

The land belonged to the state but a lighthouse is situated on the land of around 8.2 acres, and the lighthouse is under the purview of the federal government through its northern region marine department.

According to the Auditor-General, the lighthouse was built in 1882 on that piece of land and it covers a land space of about 840 square metres within the land.

“We have referred to the Land and Mines Department director general and the department confirmed that it was not informed of the state’s application to alienate the land, including the site where the lighthouse is located,” the report said.

The report said the alienation to CMI was due to an incomplete land report that do not state the full details of the land’s status.

In the state’s replies to the audit findings on January 26 and 27 this year, the state submitted that the structure was indicated on the land as a lookout tower and not as a lighthouse.

The inaccurate report is due to a lack of knowledge on the status of the land and the use of the structure by the federal government, therefore no letters were sent to the Land and Mines Department to inform them of the land alienation exercise.

The audit report then suggested that land reports be prepared in detail with complete information so that the land status can be accurately ascertained to assist the state authority in its land alienation exercises.

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