Explain late loan to Jelutong Expressway builder, Koh told

The state government has put its predecessor on the stand again, querying why its made loan payments to the developer of the RM672.2 million Jelutong Expressway (JE) only when the project was nearing completion.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said according to the agreement inked in 1997 with Jelutong Development Sdn Bhd (JDSB), a subsidiary of IJM Corporation Bhd (IJM), JDSB was granted the right to reclaim 325 acres of land for development as part of the privatisation agreement for the construction of the JE. Phase I of the project was completed in 2003, and Phase II in July 2006.

“The state government also agreed to give out an RM33.18 million loan to the developer over five instalments,” said Lim. “The loan was given out in instalments of RM7 million a year in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and a final payment of RM5.18 million will be paid out in 2009.

“I am surprised why the loan was given out so late when the project was almost nearing completion,” said Lim.

“Land reclamation had been allowed and under this agreement, a loan was also granted. We want to know why this happened.”

“Also, according to the agreement, the developer has to pay the state government RM24.1 million in costs for reimbursable land, after the entire project was completed.

“However, the developer wants the loan from the state government to be paid in full, before they pay the state government the RM24.1 million in disbursement,” Lim told a press conference.

He said former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon should shed some light on why the agreement was made in such a manner.

When contacted, IJM Corporation deputy CEO and deputy managing director Teh Kean Ming told The Edge Financial Daily every aspect of the deal went by the book according to what had been set out in the agreement. “We will clarify the issue with the chief minister soon,” he said.

Sources familiar with the deal said the construction of the JE was supposed to have been carried out with financial aid from the state government at the onset of the project.

However, the RM33.18 million which was to have been given at one go was delayed due to lack of funds then. Hence, the loan disbursement was made in several instalments.

by Regina William (The Edge Daily)

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