Monday September 15, 2008
Buy Penang Turf Club land for park, state govt urged
By CHRISTINA CHIN
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) has suggested that the state government acquire the 104ha land of the proposed Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) in Batu Gantung from the Penang Turf Club.
Council member Loh-Lim Lin Lee said 36.4ha of the land could be used to build high-end houses, 39.2ha for affordable housing and the rest for green space and public park.
“The state government can buy the land for RM488mil, which is the same amount offered by PGCC developer Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd when it entered into an agreement with the club to buy the land.
“The sale of the high-end houses could generate RM735mil for the state coffers,” she said at the public forum “If Penang Global City Centre is dead, what now for PTC?” in Dewan Sri Pinang here yesterday.
Loh-Lim said the “creative business plan” could generate RM180mil profit for the state government.
Early this month, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the proposed RM25bil PGCC had been rejected by the Penang Municipal Council and it was “as good as dead”.
He said this was because the developer had failed to meet the council’s requirements.
Conservation architect Lawrence Loh said the proposed development would have “minimal intervention” on existing landscape and structures.
“For example, since we will build the houses on the fairways, not much of earthwork is needed.
“The race track can be converted into a jogging or cycling track and the turf club building can be converted into a cultural arts centre since the seats and car park are already in place,” he said.
PHT president Dr Choong Sim Poey said Lim’s statement that the PGCC was “as good as dead” did not mean the project was off.
He said Abad Naluri has been iven until March 2011 to complete the new race course in Batu Kawan.
“There is nothing to stop the developer from re-submitting a new plan to the council,” he said.
Dr Choong said the forum was held to get public feedback on the kind of development they wanted on the land.
Also present were the Chief Minister’s office chief of staff Jeff Ooi, who is Jelutong MP and Tanjung Bunga assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu.
Among the feedback received during the forum was for a fund-raising campaign to raise money for the purchase of the site.
For details on PHT’s proposed plan, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.