by Stanley Koh Apr 18, 08 11:43am
Fresh revelations from a controversial land deal in Pasir Pinji, Perak are likely to cause further embarrassment for the MCA and raise further questions on alleged impropriety undertaken by the party’s state leadership led by Ong Ka Chuan.
The controversy erupted following a recent news report that the new Pakatan Rakyat state government has cancelled a land application approval given by the previous administration to the MCA Ipoh Timur division on the grounds that there were elements of abuse in the approval.
According to Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, a portion of the land located in Pasir Pinji, Ipoh, has been occupied by a soy factory operator since 1953.
It was learnt that the Sin Yong Guan Food Industries Sdn Bhd soy factory belonged to a person named Kenny KS Yap who had unsuccessfully applied for the land a long time ago.
Details now emerge that the party division had intended to make a tidy profit from the land deal by selling the portion occupied by the soy factor to Yap.
According to a reliable source, the chairperson of the Ipoh Timur division Chew Wai Khoon had applied for the 2.18 acres of land which included 0.92 ha of land occupied by the soy factory.
When the approval was given by the former state government, it is claimed that Chew had the intention to sell back the 0.92 ha back to the factory owner for the asking price of RM188,430.66.
Improper and immoral
When contacted by Malaysiakini, one of the three signatories (appointed trustees of the Ipoh Timur division) deputy chairman of the division Thong Fah Chong confirmed the details of the deal.
He said that he had refused to sign the Sale and Purchase letter document (dated 24 March 2008) because he felt the land transaction was improper and immoral. [See full letter here]
“I refused to sign the letter (addressed to a lawyer) because I feel the land deal was against my principles of morality,” he told Malaysiakini.
The other two trustees who signed the letter (bearing the name of the division) were Chew and division secretary Liew Ah Ming.
When news on the approval by the former state administration leaked out just before the recent March 8 general election, the DAP had successfully exploited the land issue.
MCA detractors are also blaming Perak MCA chief and party secretary general Ong Ka Chuan for the loss of the Pasir Pinji state seat for giving approval for the land deal.
Housing and Local Government Minister Ka Chuan is also the brother of party president Ong Ka Ting. Both of them are under pressure from an influential segment of party members over the party’s failures in the general election.
Ka Chuan’s role
Thong is also questioning Ka Chuan’s role in the land deal as he had “contributed a RM100,000 cheque” as part payment for the land premium of RM387,262,
Thong said that many party members can act as witnesses to the cheque contribution although Ka Chuan had since taken back the cheque.
“This land deal has added to the general feeling that there is something wrong with the leadership integrity.
“This is also one reason why Perak MCA lost the Pasir Pinji state seat in the recent elections.
“Party members in the state must now judge what type of leaders they should vote for in future,” Thong said.
As for the soy factory owner, the new Perak state government has asked him to submit a fresh application to the Land and Mines Department. Malaysiakini