GEORGE TOWN, Jan 19 — Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Tan Teik Cheng today rejected the state government’s assertion of an existing agreement with his predecessor to jointly develop the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT).
Tan also said that Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who preceded him at the PPC, had repeatedly criticised Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over the refusal to sell the land involved, which is also the current dispute.
“His (Lim’s) claims are false and he is only trying to distract the people while at the same time trying to cause a rift between both PPC chairman,” he said in a statement issued today.
“The Penang state government should sell the SPCT land to PPC so that the cruise terminal can be expanded to benefit the state and its tourism industry.”
Lim yesterday claimed that Dr Chua had previously agreed to the development plan without insisting on acquiring the land.
PPC, a federal agency under the Transport Ministry that manages the SPCT, and the state government are locked in a dispute over the land at the terminal that traces back to 2010.
The commission paid a RM14 million premium for the two separate pieces of land where the SPCT is located, but the state government rejected this and returned the money in 2010.
The state government has maintained that it wants to be involved in all developments regarding the land, resulting in its refusal to sell it entirely to PPC.