Friday February 17, 2012
Bayan Mutiara issue heats up on Twitter
By SIRA HABIBU and DERRICK VINESH
PETALING JAYA: The war of words over the controversial sale of Bayan Mutiara land is heating up on Twitter.
Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said the battle was expected to go on because they were not getting direct answers.
“Instead, they (DAP leaders) are attacking us with irrelevant remarks,’’ he said.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, under fire for selling 41.5ha plot of prime state land to a private developer for RM1.07bil, has countered to give his side of the story.
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua also joined in the fray to defend Lim.
Among those on Pua’s “hit list” was Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
“It (the sale of land) was via open tender, sold 20% above reserve price, which was higher than the land office evaluation, apa lagi u nak (what more do you want)?’’ Pua asked Khairy.
Penang Barisan Nasional chief Zainal Abidin Osman said Lim had yet to explain why the development job was not given to Penang Development Corporation (PDC).
Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan claimed DAP leaders and supporters had become so defensive that they appeared to miss the point.
“Until today, Lim has not shown how the reserve price of RM200 per sq ft was derived or shown proof that the land was sold via an open tender,’’ he said.
Penang Gerakan working committee chief Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said the biggest question was why the private developer was given five years to settle the payment, adding that by then, the value of land would have appreciated much higher.
Dr Teng said the land next to Pantai Jerejak was reclaimed by the previous Barisan-led state administration to provide housing and business opportunities for the people.
“The responsibility is not about getting the best value for the land, but to serve the needs of the people,” he said in a statement.
He added that PDC should develop the Bayan Mutiara land just like the D’Residence project next to it.
The latter project, he said, had benefited needy groups.