Chief Minister Must Explain The High RM25 Million Construction Cost
Of The 9-Storey Menara PERTAM In Melaka Baru And The Low Land Premium
Imposed Of RM1.33 Per Square Feet On A 13 Acre Piece Of Prime Land
Next To Pasar Borong Batu Berendam
by Betty Chew Gek Cheng
Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Mohd. Ali Rustam must explain the high
RM25million constructon cost of the 9-storey Menara Perbadanan Tanah Adat
Melaka(PERTAM) in Melaka Baru and the low land premium imposed of only
RM1.33 per square feet on a 13-acre piece of prime land next to the Pasar
Borong Batu Berendam.
In a written reply to my questions in the recently concluded Melaka State
Assembly meeting on 14 May 2003, the Chief Minister said that "the 9-storey
Menara PERTAM was buiilt at a cost of RM25.2 million with a built-up
area of 13,423 square feet over 2 acre piece of land.. As PERTAM owned the
land there was no land cost. The project commenced on 15 November 1999 and
was scheduled for completion on 15 November 2001. However CF was only issued
on 23 April 2003. No open tender was made and this construction contract
given to Gapadu Development Bhd."
RM25.2 million for constructing a 9-storey building or almost RM3 million
per storey is considered high. The Chief Minister should explain:
a) the reasons behind the high cost of RM25.2 million;
b) why the project was 2 years behind schedule;
c) whether any penalties or fines were imposed on the contractor for late
d) why there was no open tender.
On the 13 acres of prime land next to the wholesalers market in Batu
Berendam sold to Capital Farmosa Sdn Bhd at a land premium of RM760,704/- or
RM1.33 per sq feet, Datuk Mohd Ali said that the land was valued at such a
low rate below market price to enable the houses and shophouses built
to be sold cheaply to the public. The Chief Minister said that the land was
approved in 28.2.1996 at a time when the 1996 market value then was RM2.50
per square feet. The land value now in 2003 could be as high as RM5.90 per
This sale of land gives rise to many questions. If the government is sincere
about enabling the public to buy houses at low rates, why does the
Govenrment not develop and build houses and shophouses themselves to ensure
that they can be sold at a low rate? What guarantees are there that the
private company will sell the houses and shophouses cheaply to the public?.
There is no need to sell a such low rates to a private company which will
only deprive the public of larger funds it could collect if sold at market
rates. We are talking of 573,300 square feet and the loss of funds by
charging a land premium of only RM1.33 per square feet as compared to the
market rate is not small. Finally, there has been no development of the
land since it was sold to a private company in 1996.The government therefore
has a responsibility to explain whether it is in the public interest or how
the public interest from selling state land at below market rates.
Datuk Mohd Ramli Said Should Apologise For His Denigrating Remarks
Against Women For Asking Those Who Do Not Have Masks To Wear The Bra And
Blame Pig Rearing For Causing SARS
The BN State Assemblyman Masjid Tanah Datuk Ramli Mohd Said
should apologise for his denigrating remarks in the Melaka State Assembly on
13 May 2003 against women and the Chinese community by asking those who do
not have masks to wear the bra instead to protect themselves against SARS
and blame pig for causing SARS.
SARS is a deadly disease that has struck down nearly 600 people around the
world. Wearing regulation masks is a form of protection against SARSwhich
has no cure. To make light of such a deadly disease by asking those who do
not have masks to wear masks not only ridicules the efforts
by health authorities to fight SARS, shows disrespect to the victims of SARS
and worse of all make fun women. Datuk Ramli obviously does not treat SARS
as a serious matter but I can not understand how he can see those wearing
masks as wearing a "bra"
It is such outdated, crude and nasty thoughts of a BN Assemblyman that calls
into question the government's promotion of moral, healthy and responsible
values. It is disgraceful and irresponsible for an Assemblyman to use his
position at the august Melaka State Assembly to show his discriminatory and
bias against women. Datuk Mohd Ramli should not forget that his remarks have
not only insulted Malaysian women but also the women in his life whether his
mother, wife and grown daughter.
If Datuk Mohd Ramli is a gentleman, he should fully apologise to all women
for his unacceptable comments. Should he fail to do so, I shall lodge an
official complaint with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister
with copies circulated to their spouses.
In my regular rounds and walk about around the Jalan Tun Ali market today, I
have also received some complaints about Datuk Mohd Ramli blaming pigs and
calling for the banning of pig rearing as he claimed SARS come from pigs.
Despite being challenged to do so in the Melaka State Assembly, Datuk Mohd
Ramil has not being able to show proof that pigs cause SARS. By making a
baseless remark, Datuk Mohd. Ramli is pandering to racial prejudice. Such
extremists remarks is dangerous because of its undertone in blaming the
Chinese community for consuming pork and rearing pigs which causes SARS. By
calling for the banning of pig rearing on the basis of such groundless
allegations, Datuk Mohd Ramli is breaking the rice bowl of pig farmers and
those who sell pork.
SARS is a deadly disease that requires the united and concerted efforts of
all Malaysians to overcome it. At a time when unity is paramount, Datuk Mohd.
Ramli's disgraceful actions in denigrating women and making baseless
allegations against pigs does not help to enhance co-operation but only
serve to increase suspicion and extremism amongst Malaysians. Datuk Mohd.
Ramli should withdraw such remarks unless he can show proof that pigs
causes SARS and apologise to pig farmers and the Chinese community.
* Betty Chew Gek Cheng, DAP Melaka Chair And State Assemblywoman
For Durian Daun