Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is amazed by Gerakan's query about Penang Development Corporation’s (PDC) development strategy.
Chow said PDC's strategy includes acquiring land, putting in infrastructure and turning these plots of land into industrial, commercial and housing development.
"(This was) a strategy used by (the late) PDC founder and former chief minister Dr Lim Chong Eu, followed by Koh Tsu Koon," Chow said in a statement today.
"This strategy has been used successfully to transform Penang from a sleepy fishing village into a vibrant industrial and manufacturing state," he added.
"Gerakan was so proud of this and it became its showpiece that enabled it to win several general elections," Chow said.
However today, Chow said Gerakan deputy president Oh Tong Keong is questioning the present Pakatan Harapan state government for adopting and adapting this development strategy.
Oh, in a statement today, had asked Chow if PDC is a "state development arm or land sales office?"
Oh's remarks follow Chow's insistence that PDC would not be "taken over" by the Economic Affairs Ministry, although the latter's role includes supervising and monitoring 32 agencies, including the PDC.
Earlier, Oh had accused the federal government of taking control of PDC, and rendering the state powerless in development matters.
Oh's development logic
Chow said PDC's strategy is to further boost Penang’s socio-economic development as the Silicon Valley of the East and Malaysia’s first Green State.
"The modus operandi used by the PDC is simple: from the master planning, land will be acquired and infrastructure put in place and investors invited to take up the land for industrial development," Chow said.
"PDC will also develop these landbanks into SME plots, commercial buildings and various categories of housing and township development," he added.
Chow reminded Oh that this model can be seen in PDC’s development of the Bayan Baru and Bayan Lepas new townships, and similarly with Perai, Seberang Jaya, and Bukit Minyak, as well as Juru.
He pointed out that the current focus of PDC is in Batu Kawan where, through the same model of development, large landbanks acquired in the 1990s are turned into industrial, commercial and housing and mixed development.
"Through these development projects, we have created thousands of job opportunities and income for the people and achieved high economic growth," Chow said.
"Is Oh suggesting that we should keep these landbanks and stop any development because we do not want to sell them to potential investors?" he asked.
"If Penang were to use Oh's development logic, the state would still be a sleepy fishing village it once was."