Idealistic promise, bitter reality of Penang CMI
On April 20th 2009, Penang Chief Minister said that the Penang state government is proposing to set up an agency — the Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) — which will give the state government more clout to protect and preserve the state’s heritage, in line with George Town’s inscription as a Unesco World Heritage site.
Lim Guan Eng said the main focus of CMI would be heritage.
However in May 2017,after being hammered for CMI selling RM156 million of state land in Peel Avenue without open tender at allegedly below market prices, LIm Guan Eng was accused of being the sole person in charge of approving this deal since he is Chief Minister and the sale was signed by Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI).
Guan Eng defended himself by saying that CMI) enables the Penang government to engage in commercial land transactions,
“The state can only grant TOL (temporary occupancy license) annually or lease the land for 99 years, seeking a full one-shot payment,” Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
“In the case of Island Hospital, they have not even secured the license from the Federal Government for its hospital project to pay the state the full RM156 million for the land.
“So, we dealt through the CMI.” said Lim Guan Eng.
So, looks like the real purpose of passing the CMI bill and setting-up CMI in 2009 was not heritage-related but to enable Penang Govt to engage in commercial sales of state land with flexible payment terms via direct negotiations.
Lim Guan Eng continued to deny it was a one-person decision and for the past few days had asked Gerakan to show proof.
So, today Gerakan showed proof by showing the Chief Minister Incorporated Enactment 2009 passed by the DAP Penang Govt in 2009 where Sections 3 and 4 grants the chief minister the sole authority to enter into contracts, acquire, hold or enjoy movable or immovable properties, sell, mortgage or dispose them.
Looks like Penang people got cheated in 2009 by an idealistic promise and then kena later on when the brutal reality is finally revealed.