Friday, February 17, 2012

The AliBabeng of Penang: Lividen of Land Conversion

Guan Eng shows proof Bayan Mutiara land sold above market rate By Clara Chooi February 15, 2012 KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Lim Guan Eng disclosed today valuation documents proving his government sold a 102.6-acre plot of prime land in Bayan Mutiara at over double the market rate, disputing Umno’s claims otherwise. The Penang chief minister told a press conference that the land in question had been valued at RM84 per square foot (psf) for an 18-acre plot and RM65 psf for an 88-acre plot as of November 2009. Lim reiterated his challenge today to Umno leaders, particularly Abdul Rahman, to bid for property in Bayan Mutiara at RM420 psf.  “The smaller the plot, the higher the price,” he said. Barely six months later on April 7, 2010, Lim said, the Penang government set its rate for the state-owned land at RM200 psf, well above the valuated price. “When I decided to fix the price at RM200, everyone opposed. They said — you can’t sell it. But I said — let’s try. I prefer to fail trying than not trying at all ... luckily we succeeded,” he said. Lim said the 102.6-acre plot — located near the Penang Bridge, the free trade zone and the Penang International Airport — was eventually sold off via open tender to the highest bidder, Ivory Properties Groups Bhd, which had offered RM240 psf, or a total of RM1.07 billion, to be paid up in five years.

“What else does Umno want to say? We are not Umno, selling at cheap prices. We sell at the highest price. “Do not think that just because Umno is corrupt, we are corrupt too. Do not think that just because Umno sells land without open tender, we do the same ... or if they use money to put cows in condos, we do the same. No,” said Lim. Umno leaders, including a Sabah MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahalan, had accused the Penang government of selling the prime real estate at a 50 per cent discount to private developers. According to their allegations, the 102.6-acre plot in question was actually worth RM420 psf, well above the RM240 psf it was sold at. Lim reiterated his challenge today to Umno leaders, particularly Abdul Rahman, to bid for property in Bayan Mutiara at RM420 psf. “A person so far in Sabah wants to interfere in our affairs. So I challenge him ... we challenge Umno; if they say the land is actually worth RM420, then we ask them to buy it at that rate,” he said. here

Well I never thought that my initial query on Bayan Mutiara has now developed into something that CM Lim Guan Beng needs to "explain"

My concerns in the initial post was that (here)

  • The statement of affordable housing at RM42,000 to RM 72,500 Vs the actually planned RM 72,500 to RM 220,000
  • How the state plan to pay for the RM500 Million when the proceeds from the land sale would only accumulate to that amount in 2 years
After reading Calvin's piece, I followed up with another query which was then picked up in Tweeter, on why the land was sold at that price and this is referring to a particular deal on between Queensbay and Evergreen
slightly before the announcement of Ivory winning the tender.

Anyone would wonder why the state sold at 240psf when the last done deal was 420psf.

Source IVORY here

These are valid questions, there is no need for political gimmick jinjang mari kinda thing. So kampung

I've actually relooked at the data. Something is not right. How can RM 160Million for 100 acres becomes 420psf?

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Peak into Feb 18 Points of Arguments : The Chinese Political Future Debate

KUALA LUMPUR: Come Feb 18, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng will lock horns in a debate over the Chinese political future. Dr Chua said he had accepted the invitation for the debate organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) and MCA think-tank, Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap), during one of the sessions at the one-day forum on Malaysian Chinese political future at a hotel here. "I will be having a debate with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng during the Feb 18 Chinese political conference. "I thank him for accepting the organiser's invitation for the debate," he told reporters after chairing the MCA central committee meeting. The forum titled, 'Malaysian Chinese at the Political Crossroads', is expected to be officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. All Chinese-based political parties, both in Barisan Nasional and the opposition, have been invited to present their achievements at the forum. Apart from leaders of political parties, other speakers would include representatives of non-governmental organisations. BERNAMA here

Can the Chinese debate their political future on issues exclusively Chinese?

To begin let me quote Lucian Pye observation in Asian Power and Politics: The cultural dimensions of Authority

How true is that situation?

Fast forward a little bit

According to Rita Sim of Insap, the MCA think-tank, Chinese support for the DAP has not changed much over the last 20 years. Contrary to public perception, DAP’s support from mainly the Chinese, and to a lesser extent the Indians, has hovered at around one million votes for each of the last five general elections. But support for parties like PAS and PKR shot up by more than two million votes over the same period.

The Barisan Nasional, on the other hand, saw its support increase by one million votes over the same period. “The Malay vote has shifted the most. The Chinese vote has been quite constant in trend,” said Sim. Issues like corruption, abuse of power and good governance cut across race lines. Malays are equally concerned about these issues and that may explain why they have taken their votes elsewhere. But the significant number of Chinese voters in the last two by-elections made it seem as though the Chinese had swung or, as some would put it, are ungrateful. Shift to PAS PAS has been the chief beneficiary of the Malay shift. Its share of votes has increased three-fold from only about 376,000 in 1990 to 1.1 million in 2008. PKR’s support began with 774,000 votes in 1999, dipped to 578,000 in 2004 and surged to 1.5 million in 2008.

Its support has been from primarily the Malays and Chinese who are not comfortable with the way DAP handles issues. Politics, said Insap chairman Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan On, is also about convincing people to support you because you can guarantee their future and that of their children. It is not about whether people are ungrateful or disloyal to a political party. Sim: ‘MCA and Gerakan feel the brunt of Chinese anger and frustration at the ballot box’. “If they think we are not delivering what they want, they go elsewhere. That’s the politics of voting and it’s the same in every part of the world,” said Dr Fong. He said the perception that the Chinese are content with immersing themselves in business and leaving politics to the Malays is also a myth in modern Malaysia. Chinese make up only 25% of the population, but they have a high voter registration rate and make up about 32% of the electorate. The implication here is that political awareness among the Chinese is high, and they keep in touch with issues, some more so than others.

A large proportion of them are connected to the Internet. “It’s one of the arenas where they feel that they have equal rights and they want to exercise it to the fullest. This is where parties like MCA and Gerakan feel the brunt of Chinese frustration,” said Sim. The Chinese stuff all their anger and dissatisfaction into the ballot box. The 2008 general election was the perfect example of that. DAP’s share of the vote in 2004 was only about 700,000 as the Chinese supported Barisan and gave Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a ringing victory. But barely a year later, they were stunned when he sat back and allowed Umno leaders including his son-in-law to wave the keris and rant about Malay supremacy. Four years later, they pulled back their support and DAP’s share of the total votes increased to 1.1 million. here

The Chinese over the last 3 years have seen how DAP politicians having the upper-hand in the current political set-up of Pakatan Rakyat, I do not need to cite the examples as I think most of you are aware of the developments in the various PR lead states.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The "bouncy" state of Penang

Folks remember this speech?

Penang Bounces Back With Bosch Solar’s RM2.2 Billion in Renewable Energy Plant at Batu Kawan Speech by YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang at Press Conference on Friday, June 24, 12 noon – 1 p.m. at Komtar, Penang Good afternoon, Penang achieves another milestone in the State’s history by landing the first fully integrated crystalline photovoltaic (PV) facility in the country.We are indeed very proud to be chosen as the location for Bosch Solar Energy because the competition was intense in that Penang had to compete with potential sites within and outside Malaysia, including manufacturing superpowers like China.

I was informed that Bosch Solar Energy initially explored and analysed forty-five (45) sites in twenty-three (23) countries. In Malaysia itself, Bosch evaluated over 10 sites. Bosch’s investment of RM2.2 billion is the first PV investment for Penang. The ground breaking ceremony for the intended site will be in September to October time frame this year while construction of the new facility is expected to start in December this year to ensure production to be fully ramped up by the end of 2013.

Bosch has quoted that Penang’s attributes that made it their choice location are the availability of a strong supply chain, excellent electrical & electronics clustering, good infrastructure support and strategic location of Batu Kawan, talented human capital, a livable city and a pro-business and pro-active government. As a world class industrial park, Batu Kawan has been assessed to meet the infrastructural requirements for industries, including PV, on energy, water and connectivity.

We ask ourselves how this investment can benefit Penang. Bosch Solar Energy’s operations in Penang are expected to further develop local suppliers of services and indirect materials, especially in the areas of consumables / replacement parts and components as well as automation As a fully integrated crystalline PV facility, Bosch’s manufacturing plant will encompass the entire process of crystalline PV manufacturing, i.e. from ingot growing, to wafer cutting, to cell manufacturing and finally to module manufacturing.

This new investment by Bosch will generate 2,000 new jobs, which will open up opportunities for our local human resource to be trained in various aspects of crystalline PV production. I understand that the skill sets required for manufacturing PV are similar to the skills needed by the semiconductor industry to fabricate and process silicon wafers. Penang, with its four decades of experience in the electronics industry has the talents to meet the skill sets required by Bosch, especially its human capital who are or have been involved in wafer fabrication lines in multinational corporations’ overseas facilities.

After nine (9) months of intensive evaluation with investPenang and PDC, the Board of Directors of Bosch Solar Energy has decided to locate their first offshore manufacturing facility for their crystalline photovoltaic (PV) business unit in Batu Kawan, Penang. Presently, Bosch’s crystalline PV production is in Arnstadt, Germany and Penang’s facility will be their second world site. When Bosch Solar Energy’s plant is running on full production capacity, it is anticipated to further facilitate Malaysia’s aspiration of becoming the second (2nd) largest producer of solar cells in the world in 2020, increasing its market share to 17%, after China.

We ask ourselves how PV production will benefit Penang. As an eco-friendly State, we fully support solar energy deployment that offers a sustainable pollution-free alternative to other energy sources such as fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil as well as nuclear. This will definitely help to reduce world’s carbon footprint and help propel Penang’s effort to be the first green state in Malaysia. Penang is grateful to have this opportunity to have a prestigious working relationship with Bosch.

A special project team will be formed, headed by myself and coordinated by investPenang to work with Bosch to ensure complete execution to facilitate and support Bosch Solar Energy’s project in Penang. Penang's success in attracting Bosch's PV RM2.2 billion investments in solar energy is an industrial milestone for Penang. Penang was left out of substantial investments in solar and renewable energy (RE) since the first investments flowed in 10 years ago. The failure to snare any RE investments was a big disadvantage and drawback as most companies in RE would want to go to states with existing industries, know-how and advantages.

Penang's efforts to claw back this drawback has finally borne fruit after sustained effort from the InvestPenang, PDC and the CM's office. We also wish to thank Tenaga Nasional Bhd and also MIDA for their close co-operation and also complementing our role. With this major success in attracting a world-played in the RE like Bosch, Penang is poised to be a small hub for RE. The Penang state government has made strenuous efforts to both diversify and multiply the types of industry in Penang apart from our world-famous electronic and electrical cluster. Over the past 3 years, Penang has had successes in attracting the aerospace, LED lighting, medical devices and bio-tech industry. This new RE industry will only add leverage and depth to Penang's attractiveness as a location of choice for high-tech, high-value added and green industries. Thank you. LIM GUAN ENG here

In the Proofyness post (here) I quoted a paper on FDI impact

"Although there is a widespread belief among policymakers that FDI generates positive productivity externalities for host countries, the empirical evidence fails to confirm this belief. In the particular case of developing countries, both the micro and macro empirical literatures consistently finds either no effect of FDI on host countries firms productivity and/or aggregate growth or negative effects" Source : FDI Impact to Economic Growth Harvard University Research paper (here)

Foreign money comes and goes.

Their investment decision is dictated by so many factors typically evaluated in their Regional or Head Office.

In the case of Malaysia, most of the policy level incentives are controlled at the Federal level by MIDA, state government have very little incentives that they can offer (perhaps faster processing of building permits maybe)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The EPF DBKL Loan Scheme For Dummies

I find the discussion on the EFP DBKL Loan scheme amusing.

PR is going to town claiming that the scheme is AGAINST The EPF Act

PETALING JAYA: Using RM1.5 billion from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to finance the special housing scheme is going against the law, Petaling Jaya Utara MP, Tony Pua, said today. “Nowhere in the Employment Provident Fund Act 1991, does it say it can provide loans to individuals to acquire low-cost apartments using the property as a collateral” he said in a statement. “(Channelling RM1.5 billion to) the social housing loan scheme is in breach of the EPF Act, which regulates the fund in terms of permissible investment activities,” he added.

Najib has said the move to use EPF money to finance the housing scheme would not undermine the interest of EPF. Najib announced the initiative – People’s Housing Programme-National Economic Action Council and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) public housing special scheme – last week. Pua said that clause 26 of the EPF Act allows EPF to lend money to federal and state governments and provide loans or subscribe bonds of registered corporate bodies. “It may provide loans to members of the fund for the purpose of purchasing or building a house,” he added here

I think Tony was referring to this news

The People's Housing Programme-National Economic Action Council and DBKL Public Housing special scheme, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last Tuesday, is aimed at helping existing tenants to obtain funding to purchase the houses for sale. The scheme would commence this March and buyers are expected to sign the sale and purchase agreements in May. Raja Nong Chik said the houses would be mortgaged to EPF and DBKL had the power to foreclose on buyers who had installments in arrears of six months. "DBKL would then sell the properties to those on the waiting list, which now numbers 27,000 people." To ensure DBKL had sufficient funds to buy back the properties, EPF has placed a condition that it set up a Redemption Reserve Account with 20 per cent of profits allocated under the scheme. here
If the EPF is going to lend direct this is how the flow would look like

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mystery of PKR Leader "Advice" to Azmin Heli/Helmi

Selangor government says to study, discuss ‘PKR man’ issue By Yow Hong Chieh February 06, 2012 KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 – The Selangor government said today it will examine media reports of a “PKR man” who was arrested in Indonesia last week before deciding on the next course of action. Online media and pro-Umno blogs have linked the man, identified by Indonesian news portal Detik as Azmin Helmi, to a female state executive councillor.
“The state government will study media reports and take further action if it has implications for the state government, its leaders and the administration,” the Selangor mentri besar’s office said in a statement. “The matter will also be brought to the PKR political bureau meeting this Wednesday and any decision will be announced to the people immediately.”

The statement, issued by the mentri besar’s press secretariat, added that it would be unethical for “certain parties” to exploit the issue to question anyone’s credibility. The public was also urged not to permit dirty politics and personal attacks to distract from the state government’s primary agenda of governing effectively and transparently. Azmin, who claims to be a PKR member, was detained by Indonesian authorities on Friday for allegedly possessing fake identification documents.

According to Detik, the 36-year-old was picked up in Batam by immigration officers who became suspicious when he tried to renew his counterfeit passport. The Ampang, Selangor resident was also found holding a false Indonesian identity card and family card issued in Batam, as well as a fake birth certificate from the Karimun Regency. Batam immigration authorities told the press that Azmin had entered Indonesia on a Malaysian passport via the Tanjung Balai international port in Karimun on February 15, 2009.

He told investigators he had travelled around Indonesia, visiting Pekanbaru, Jakarta before eventually residing in Cengkareng, Cingkawang and Pondok Kelapa districts, exceeding his 30-day visitors visa. Azmin also claimed his stay in Jakarta had been funded by his family and PKR. “I chose to stay in Indonesia even though my visa had ended because my family in Malaysia and the PKR leadership urged me to change in Indonesia,he reportedly told immigration officers. “My safety is not ensured in Malaysia as a result of threats made against me by Malaysian leaders who may use me as a pawn or political tool for the authorities.” here

This is the original source from Detik

Batam - Seorang warga Malaysia ditangkap petugas Imigrasi saat akan mengurus paspor. Belakangan diketahui, warga Malaysia ini memiliki KTP dan KK yang dikeluarkan Pemkot Batam. "Awalnya kita mencurigai seseorang yang tengah mengurus memperpanjang paspor. Kita ketahui ternyata warga negara Malaysia, namun dia memiliki KTP, Kartau Keluarga dan akte kelahiran di negara kita. Sekarang sudah kita lakukan penahanan," kata Kasi Dakim Imigrasi Batam, Gindo Ginting, kepada wartawan, Sabtu (4/02/2012).

Dari hasil pemeriksaan petugas Imigrasi Batam, diketahui pria itu bernama Azmin Heli lahir di Kuala Lumpur 27 Maret 1975. Alamat Jalan 4H Ampang Selangor 68000 Malaysia. WNA ini ternyata salah seorang anggota Oposisi Partai Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Malaysia. Gindo Ginting menjelaskan, Azmin Helmi, tertangkap Jumat (3/2/2012) oleh petugas Imigrasi kelas I Batam saat akan melakukan pengurusan paspor. Dari tangan tersangka ditemukan identitas palsu berupa KTP, KK, yang dikeluarkan oleh Disduk Pemkot Batam yang ditandatangan oleh Kadisduk Sadri Khairuddin. "Selain itu juga ditemukan Akta kelahiran yang dikeluarkan oleh Kantor Dinas Pendaftaran Penduduk Kabupaten Karimun," kata Gindo. Gindo menjelaskan, dari hasil pemeriksaan, Azmin warga Malaysia ini masuk ke Indonesia, melalui pelabuhan Internasional Tanjung Balai Karimun, Provinsi Kepri pada 15 februari 2009 lalu dan memiliki paspor Malaysia. "Waktu itu dia mengaku diberi izin tinggal Bebas Visa Kunjungan Sementara (BVKS) selama 30 hari," kata Gindo.

Setelah masuk wilayah Indonesia, kata Gindo, Azmin mengaku selanjutnya melakukan perjalanan ke Pekanbaru, Jakarta dan menetap di daerah Cengkareng, Cingkawang, dan Pondok Kelapa. "Sebelum izinnya habis, Azmin sempat melanjutkan perjalanan ke Timor Leste melalui perbatasan Atambua. Dari sana kembali ke Indonesia dengan paspor Malaysia. Selama itu juga sempat mengunjungi beberapa daerah di pulau Jawa dan terakhir menetap lebih lama di daerah Jakarta sampai izin tinggalnya habis," kata Gindo.

Dari keterangan Azmin keptugas, selama di Jakarta selalu dibiayai keluarganya dari Malaysia dan Partai Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). Selama di Jakarta, ia melakukan beberapa penelitian termasuk sejarah tokoh yang berkaitan sosial budaya publik di Indonesia, dan juga melakukan penelitian dan fotografi.

"Saya memilih menetap di Indonesia walaupun izin tinggal telah berakhir karena di Malaysia oleh pihak keluarga dan pimpinan anggota Partai Malaysia menyarankan agar saya berubah dulu di Indonesia. Keselamatan saya tidak lagi terjamin di Malaysia ini terkait dengan ancaman terhadap saya oleh pemerintah Malaysia yang mungkin atau menjadikan saya sebagai tumbal dan alat politik dari pihak yang berkuasa di Malaysia," kata Azmin kepada petugas Imigrasi Batam. here

Interesting confession Pak Azmin

I find the confession rather alarming.....

The Selangor Government and PKR Political Bureau is having a "meeting" to study its "implications for the state government, its leaders and the administration"

That is a dead giveaway.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Bayan Mutiara Duit Jatuh Dari Langit?: Proofy AhBeng Pre Election Goodies

Election time is coming and Proofy AhBeng need to show to the public that he is going to build "affordable houses" and at the same time he also needs to demonize the previous state government "Mega Stupid Projects"

PDC gets RM500m for affordable homes in Penang

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012 - 20:40 by Llew-Ann Phang
 DULY AWARDED: PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar (left) holding the mock cheque together with Lim GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) was presented with a whopping RM500 million after it was named the implementation agency of the state’s Affordable Houses Fund. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the state executive councillors, at its meeting yesterday, were the ones who arrived at a decision on the matter.
White Tie on Pinstripe biar betul Beng  
“We hope this will put to rest accusations that the state government does not care for the welfare of Penangites,” he said at the PDC Chinese New Year gathering in Relau, today. Since taking over the state in 2008, Lim said, the Pakatan Rakyat state government had approved the building of 11.596 houses under the scheme, thus dismissing claims that the state did not build affordable homes for its people. “These approved housing projects range from low cost (RM42,000) to medium low cost (RM72,500) and are on both the island and mainland,” he added.

The monies for the fund were a result of the privatisation of Bayan Mutiara by way of an open tender. “Under the previous administration, some RM600 to RM800 million of the people’s money was suggested to be spent on the relocation of its administration from Komtar to Bayan Mutiara.

“We rejected this suggestion and instead opted for a privatisation project – a move that did not require a big expenditure but instead added to the state’s financial resources so we could allocate monies to run a social project such as this,” Lim said in a statement issued later. In his speech, Lim said he hoped PDC could be an economic catalyst and implementer of social programmes in the country. “To achieve this, we must be courageous to practise innovative and creative approaches and to think outside of the box. Another important aspect is the private sector’s cooperation to reduce development costs. Taking on the private sector as partner through open tender where you choose the most reasonable, best quality and best track record will be a benefit to us all. “The profits gained must go towards the social welfare of the people of Penang. It is through this approach that the state gained the funds for the affordable houses project,” Lim said, claiming the sum made Penang the only state with such major allocations for the cause. here
First of all.....Congratulations to the People of Penang.

Please watch this video up till 1:30

In there he mentioned of Gerakan "earmarking" the land for the New State Administration Building due to frustration with KOMTAR and Gerakan wanted to run away from KOMTAR.

Biar betul Beng? Ber Billioun Billioun

Then I started to scratch my head.... is Dr Koh that mental to use water-front prime land for his state administration

So as usual monkey goes on his search into the cyberspace...

Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. -Lord Thomas Dewer