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Debate on Penang land issue falls short

Debate on Penang land issue falls short

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Aug 2008: The controversial Penang land issue debate between Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon failed to adequately address the alleged “land scam” in Penang.

Koh said Lim’s allegation that the “land scam” happened during his tenure as chief minister was politically motivated.

Although challenged repeatedly by Lim to reply to the allegation, Koh declined, saying it would be sub judice to comment since the case was being deliberated in court.

The former chief minister said he would only be willing to comment once the case had been dealt with.

“In the 18-year Barisan Nasional rule of Penang, over 10,000 land files or 99.9% had been processed,” he added.

The debate, organised by portal Agendadaily, was shown live by TV9 and NTV7. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) chairman Datuk Johan Jaafar was the moderator.

The panel members were former DBP director-general Datuk Aziz Deraman and political editor of The Malaysian Insider Wan Hamidi Hamid.

Lim claimed that the Pakatan Rakyat Penang government had traced five “land scams” and wanted to know who were responsible for them.

“Mistakes of the former state government had cost the people dearly as the money could have been used to eradicate hardcore poverty,” said Lim.

Koh retorted: “I had asked him (Lim) to have the debate after the case had been heard by the court, but he refused.”

The former chief minister left it to the people to evaluate the issue based on what had been debated. – Bernama

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