Tuesday, March 6, 2012

welcome to land fraud in Penang!

From now on Penang will be forever associated with Malaysia's most controversial land frauds.

First Case Adorna Vs. Boonsom Booyanit
Adorna vs Boon Soon was first brought to court in Penang. The case involved a Thai citizen who had  lost her land in Tanjung Bungah, Penang  through fraudulent land transaction. In this case the land ownership was transfered when her signature was fraudulently copied. 9 years later the High Court reversed the case and consequently Section 340 of The National Land Code was amended to prevent further land transaction via fraud SEC 340 NLC AMENDED.

Second case -involving the purchase of land in Penang by the late Datuk Sosilawati

The late Datuk Sosilawati  had forked out huge amount of money to buy a piece of land in Penang. The poor Datuk hired a DAP lawyer to assist her in buying a piece of land in Bukit Jambul, Penang. The case, ever since the untimely demise of the late cosmestic tycoon  (she had been brutally chopped, charred and the remains thrown into a river) -the case has been investigated by Commercial Crime Unit, Bukit Aman Datuk Sosilawati and land purchase in Penang. The DAP lawyers and his accomplices has been tried and penalised.

Reclaimed land or land with "Sea frontage" such as Bayan Mutiara is prohibited to be sold under Provisio 70 National Land Code. The lease of such land is only 99 years.
The third case- LGE ultra vying Proviso 70 of The National Land Code by selling Bayan Mutiara, a reclaimed foreshore, to Ivory Properties

I wish to refresh the memory of my beloved readers by re-inserting a quotation by lawyer Agatha Foo;

"lawyer Agatha Foo pointed out a proviso in section 76 of the NLC, which Lim had overlooked in his reply to the state assembly. Foo noted that the proviso expressly prohibits the state from disposing of ‘any part of the foreshore or sea-bed for a period exceeding ninety-nine years’. The proviso had been inserted when section 76 was amended in Parliament in 1985. ‘Consequentially, the said proviso would also prohibit the state from re-alienating or converting any part of the reclaimed foreshore or sea-bed to freehold land. Any subsequent attempt by the state to re-alienate or convert any part of the foreshore or sea-bed to freehold, notwithstanding that the foreshore or sea-bed have now been reclaimed, would tantamount to a circumvention of the prohibition in section 76 and hence be ultra vires the NLC".     

So the first issue is  the land was not meant to be alienated (sold). Under Penang Development Corporation (PDC) 2007 Annual Report the land was earmarked for affordable homes project to serve the mass poor in Penang.             

The second issue involved is the nature of the "open tender" being carried out. Lest we forget the procedures can be uploaded at The Treasury.

The third issue involved the manner in which the Tender was appraised and awarded to Ivory which is best explained in this self admitted press statement by Ivory spokeman and the chart below which shows the irregularities in the said tender.

 Ivory press_release "In a related development on the Bayan Mutiara issue, Low clarified that the word ‘negotiations’ used in the circular refers to the period after the open competitive tender was successfully secured on July 25, 2011. The reference to the word ‘negotiations’ was only conducted with the state government after the highest tender price was accepted".

The chart below  shows the irregularities to a normal "open tender" based on SOP from The Treasury which should be followed by ALL federal agencies  and State Governments :

What raised the eyebrows of many learned people in the industry is the fact that in  Open Tender system, after the closing date.....it will be a CLARIFICATION  followed by APPRAISAL processes, not a NEGOTIATION process !

So in an eagerness to explain to their shareholders , Ivory Property spokeperson mentioned the word NEGOTIATION.   For the readers information, "Negotiation" in Tender Procedures meant the company admitted to being the player of a CLOSED TENDER! There is no such thing as NEGOTIATION in an  OPEN TENDER...and this is the Standard Operation Procedures for ALL Federal and State government agencies involving mega projects!.

If at all it was a negotiated tender, then it brings to question the promise by Guan Eng, (soon after the 2008 general election) that all future projects that are above RM50,000 would undergo an open tender system.

The freshly elected LGE( then) had said that the tenders would be opened for public viewing and there would be a two-week window period for public objections.
"As far as the Bayan Mutiara project is concerned, Penangites can’t recall any public viewing at all. What has happened to the promise that Penang’s administration would be guided by the principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT).
If at all such a viewing is held, at least the people can have their voices heard. They would have a platform to voice their grouses.
Certainly massive development will take place on the massive 41 hectare site and certainly there will be massive disruption to traffic conditions and certainly the people will be affected.
However with all these potential problems confronting the people, Guan Eng has not come out in the open to clarify point by point on the various questions that is lingering in the minds of the people, especially among Penangites with regards to the Bayan Mutiara issue.

Until today, he had not been able to produce a comprehensive plan for the road dispersal system in Penang to solve the traffic woes and yet with the stroke of his pen has created an even higher density for the Bayan Baru folks which is within the Bayan Mutiara vicinity.

And yet today, we see massive mega projects taking shape in the heart of Batu Ferringhi (towering super condos and luxury bungalows), Teluk Bahang (the approval of a 44-acre RM120mil theme park project) and in the pipeline a RM800 million one-stop centre in Jelutong which is already confronted with unresolved traffic congestion.

These projects will certainly contribute to the already unresolved congestion. We will also see cost of living in Penang going up with all the mega projects taking place.

Since Penang has not built a single low-cost unit after the 2008 elections, the land in Bayan Mutiara could have been put to better use by building affordable homes for the people."
Say TAK NAK to Bayan Mutiara sales

I wonder why The Bar Council has been sitting very silent on this!

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