Sunday, May 17, 2009

Feedback sought on proposed privatisation of PORR project

Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng wants feedback from the people on the proposed privatisation of the Penang outer ring road (PORR) project.
The proposal letter from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister's Department on the matter was received by the state government on April 25.
"If the state government agrees with the proposal, we want the federal government to hold a dialogue so that the people of Penang will also be informed about the matter," he told reporters, here, today (15 May).
The 17km PORR, connecting the road from the Penang Bridge to Tanjong Bungah and costing RM1.02 billion, was initially expected to be completed by 2010 but the project implementation has been delayed until now due to the economic crisis.
Lim said EPU, meanwhile, also accepted the proposal from Daya Aliran Inovasi Sdn Bhd to take over the construction of PORR from Peninsular Metro-Works Sdn Bhd (PMWSB).
However, Lim declined to comment when asked about the amount of compensation for PMWSB.
In another development, Lim urged former chief minister (CM) Tan Seri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, former deputy CM Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah and Penang Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan to cooperate in the probe into the compensation paid to Tang Hak Ju over a land deal.
"We have lost the case but if possible, we want the former CM and state exco members concerned to come and discuss the issue with us to see if the compensation payment imposed on the present state government can be further reduced," he said.
Yesterday, the state government deposited a sum of about RM14.7 million with the Penang High Court, being 50 per cent of the compensation to be paid to Tang Hak Ju over a land deal that went awry.
The private land owned by a Chinese temple in Seberang Perai Tengah was designated as a state-owned land and leased out to Tang for quarrying purpose.
However, Tang who paid a RM354,473 land premium, sued the then state government for compensation when the real private land owner stopped his quarry operation.
Tang later demanded a RM1.8 million compensation and a replacement land in Juru from the state government as out-of-court settlement, but the state government disagreed, causing him to take the case to court.
Subsequently, the court ordered the state government to pay R40 million which was reduced to RM29 million after appeal.

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