GEORGE TOWN, Nov 16 — The Penang government and state Opposition challenged each other today to release documents over the sale of Penang Development Corporation (PDC)'s stake in Pulau Jerejak.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng demanded Penang Gerakan chief Teng Chang Yeow show proof that the state had rejected a RM220 million profit guarantee over a proposed sale of its share in the island back in 2013.
"If there was really a RM220 million profit, we would have taken it, because our profit now is only RM140 million, we would not have rejected a higher profit," Lim told a news conference at his office here.
Lim accused Teng of spreading a malicious lie when he claimed the Pakatan Harapan state government had rejected a joint venture deal with Ideal Properties Group three years ago that could have reaped profits totalling RM450 million.
Teng had claimed that PDC, with its 49 per cent shares, stood to make a profit of potentially RM220 million through the joint venture that has a gross development value of about RM1.5 billion but the state had rejected it.
"That is a malicious lie. If he can proof this, not only Datuk Rosli will be fired, I will be fired too for rejecting this deal," Lim said.
The Penang lawmaker said this latest allegation by Teng was very serious as it had questioned the state government and PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar's integrity.
He strongly denied that there were any such deals and Rosli, who was also present at the press conference, similarly denied this allegation.
"This is not true, we have not received such an offer," Rosli said.
In an immediate response, Teng challenged Lim to reveal all documentations between PDC and Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB), the company set up to develop 80 acres of Pulau Jerejak.
"I don't make allegations without proof, surely I have something to back me up so I challenge the chief minister, who prides himself for his transparency, to show all documents between PDC and TIRSB to prove me wrong," Teng told Malay Mail Online when contacted for response.
Teng said he had never questioned the integrity of PDC, Rosli or the chief minister but that he had merely questioned the state over the issue.
"I only asked why they had rejected the RM220 million profit deal. Now, I want to challenge him to challenge UDA Holdings to come out and say what I said was not true," he said.
PDC recently sold off its 49 per cent stake in TIRSB to Q Islands Development Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Ideal Properties Group, for RM156 million, earning the state RM140.6 million in profit after deducting losses and initial investment.
Penang Gerakan has been questioning the state's move in selling its stakes in the resort island without an open tender exercise and also the proposed development project on the tiny island that could negatively affect the permanent forest reserve on the other portion of the island.
Lim had said the state could not hold an open tender exercise as they were not the full owner of TIRSB and that UDA Holdings had the majority share of 51 per cent stakes in TIRSB.