IPOH, Aug 4 — Developers who sit on state projects for more than two years will have their leases seized back immediately by the Perak government.
Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the state would be cracking down on developers who failed to get a reasonable amount of work done within a 24-month long period.
If the state found that the appropriate amount of work had not been completed in 24 months, Ahmad Faizal warned that Perak would take back ‘everything’.
“Let’s say a developer wants to carry out a housing project for the Perak Development Corporation (PKNP) and sits on it for five years with nothing done. We won’t let this happen.”
“If nothing is done according to the schedule in 24 months, we will seize everything including the land — even if a deposit has been paid,” he said during a recent sit-down with the state’s press.
This move is part of the state’s efforts to restructure and revamp the state’s government-linked companies (GLC), which were found to be beset with difficulties.
These problems, Ahmad Faizal said, included large debts and numerous lop-sided agreements that did not profit the companies.
He cited the situation of PKNP — the state’s largest GLC — as an example, calling its RM600 million debt “unthinkable” and “sad”.
“Things were bought at unreasonable prices for example something that cost RM1 became RM10,” he said.
“I was surprised at the senior officers’ salaries as well. They stay in Ipoh and eat ‘nasi vanggey’ for lunch, but why do they need salaries in the hundreds of thousands? We had to correct this.”
Ahmad Faizal said he had spoken to the respective chief executive officers of PKNP, Mentri Besar Incorporated (MB Inc), and the Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation after Pakatan Harapan took the reins of power, telling them that it was right for them to resign.
However, he noted that some parties still felt that he was being too lenient instead of taking stronger action.
To this, he stressed that the state was not interested in taking revenge or firing people for no reason.
“My job isn’t to put someone in jail. The main priority is to solve the problems with the GLCs. If we find wrongdoing along the way, we report it to the authorities,” he said.
“We have to fix what is wrong first. We cannot hold someone first and start finding what he did wrong. If we take action, it must be according to the law and with the proper investigation process.”
Responding to a question on the situation of MB Inc, Ahmad Faizal said he had appointed a senior general manager who is tasked with carrying out the duties of the chief executive.
However, he noted that he would be making the final call on all decisions.
The mentri besar also said the state GLC’s audit reports would be tabled in the state assembly soon.