GEORGE TOWN, July 19 — The Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) team has questioned whether the DAP-led Penang government endorsed the pre-sale of at least RM3 billion of state land by a tunnel Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company to private developers without proper approval.
BNSC deputy director Datuk Eric See-To claimed that two pieces of land were sold to a private company in 2015 and 2016 even though the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) report had yet to be approved.
See-To said the company, which won the bid for the Penang tunnel project, sold about 1.7 hectares (4.43 acres) of freehold land belonging to the state government in Bandar Tanjong Pinang for RM162 million to a listed company in December 2015 while another piece of land, of about 20 hectares (50 acres), was sold by the same company in January last year for RM2.831 billion to the same public-listed company.
“Did the Penang Government endorse the tunnel company to pre-sell at least RM3 billion in state land? The Penang Government must now answer why they have allowed this RM3-billion sale of state land two-and-a-half years ago and then collected payments, even though none of the projects have yet to get final approval,” he said in a statement.
He also said that the feasibility studies and detailed design for the tunnel had not been completed while the construction of the roads were only scheduled to start in the middle of next year.
The 7.2-km-long undersea tunnel, which connects Persiaran Gurney on Penang island to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Prai, and the three main roads had triggered numerous controversies in terms of, among other things, the high cost of the feasibility study as well as the payment method that involved exchange of state government land. — Bernama