MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong has challenged Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy to sell the prime seaside land on Gurney Drive in the state for RM475 per square foot (psf).
The minister in the Prime Minister's Department said he would be able to group together several interested property investors to purchase the land at that price.
“If Ramasamy can help to facilitate us to buy seaside land on Gurney drive for RM475psf, we are willing to donate half of the profits to a charity that will benefit Malaysian education.
“If Ramasamy is unable to back up his words, then he must apologise for lying to me and the Penang people and admit that his desperate defence of his boss' tunnel scandal is merely a pack of lies,” he added in a media statement this afternoon.
Wee said he had explained in detail how the Penang tunnel scandal would cause RM20.5 billion in a negative impact to the Penang people.
This, he said, comprised the actual project cost of RM6.34 billion, the RM3 billion in toll collections, RM9 billion in associated projects to support the tunnel special purpose vehicle's (SPV) property project and RM2.2 billion in loss of land value appreciation.
“I invite all Malaysians - particularly the Penang people to watch my video and see the proof for yourself how I had arrived at such a conclusion.
“Part of my explanation includes the Penang government's strange act of signing a contract in 2013 to allow construction of the tunnel portion of the project valued at RM3.6 billion to only start 10 years later in 2023 will result in at least RM2.2 billion in a loss in land value appreciation for the Penang people.
“Taking a conservative five percent per year increase in land appreciation value, I had shown that the RM3.6 billion land would have appreciated to RM5.8 billion in 10 years time in the year 2023,” he added in a statement this afternoon.
However, Wee accused Ramasamy of issuing a nonsensical statement on March 18 to dispute him.
“Among others, Ramasamy insisted that the cost of seaside land in Gurney Drive to be used as payment to the tunnel SPV is only worth RM475psf today.
“When justifying this, Ramsamy even arrogantly said that even if there is a loss to the Penang people arising from land appreciation, it is not a big deal as the Penang government cannot be blamed for appreciation in land values.
“Very few people including me will believe Ramasamy's insistence that the price of prime seaside land in Penang cost only RM475psf today,” he added.
Wee noted how during a ceremony on Jan 15, 2016, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng himself witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement where the SPV had sold 50 acres of this land to a listed company for RM2.83 billion - or a land price of RM1,300psf.
In addition, he said, Ramasamy should be aware of the land value for another development in the vicinity, that is Marriott Residences, jointly developed by Boon Siew Group & Corner Club, which is much higher than the RM475 psf.