Rehda hits out at NGO in Penang

The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association of Malaysia (Rehda) has hit out at a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Penang which has called the state government to revoke certain development projects that had obtained the relevant approvals from the local council.

Penang’s Rehda chairman Datuk Jerry Chan Fook Sing said the action of the NGO besides creating fear among Rehda members and housebuyers had also resulted in negative publicity for Penang.

It is a known fact that the Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) has been calling on the state government to review the RM650 million Hunza Properties Bhd’s Gurney Paragon project located along Jalan Kelawai, which has already obtained the planning permission from the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).

PHT president Dr Choong Sim Poey had said that despite receiving more than 70 objections on the development plan on the former St Joseph’s College site, MPPP overruled them.

Choong had highlighted weaknesses in the planning approval process for the project which he said was an example of a massive commercial development approved by MPPP in bad faith.

In response, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the state government would relook at the project.

Chan said such uncalled for statements by the NGO would be detrimental to the state’s economy.

He said there were procedures that had to be followed before approval was obtained and if the developer had secured the necessary approvals, it should stand.

“Who are you to tell the state government what to do? If the state government is satisfied that in any approval, all the procedures have been complied with and the approval was secured in a transparent manner, the sanctity of the approval should be respected.

“Any attempt to interfere with or influence or reverse the approval process would thus be seen as not respecting the decision or wisdom of the present government,” Chan said at a press conference.

Rehda has 80 members who are big players in the Penang property scene.

Chan said as a responsible NGO, Rehda practises responsible community service by addressing issues and concerns through proper channels and not by dramatising issues through the media.

“The state government has made competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) its guiding principle, and it is time to allow CAT to take its course by respecting authority,” he added. - By The Edge Daily

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