By Lim Sian See
The seller of the house, Miss Phang Li Koon has signed a Statutory Declaration (SD) in an attempt to relieve pressure on Lim Guan Eng’s undervalued purchase of his Bungalow at 25 Jalan Pinhorn Road on Green Lane, Penang Island.
Certainly her SD raises more questions than it answers.
This is the SD:
I, PHANG LI KOON (NRIC No. omitted) a Malaysian residing in No. (omitted) Georgetown, Pulau Pinang solemnly and sincerely declare the following:
I got to know CM’s family since 2008. I became a close friend to his wife, Betty Chew since then because of her friendly and humble character.
In 2008, I bought a house at No. 25, Pinhorn Road, Penang for RM 2.5 million and did some renovation with the intention to let my brother live in. However after I heard from CM’s wife that she was looking for a place to rent due to termites problem at her official residence, I decided to offer them my house to stay. A tenancy agreement was entered and signed on 1 July 2009 with 3 years tenure at RM5,000 per month but later the tenure was extended to another 3 years to 30 June 2015.
At that time I felt very honoured to rent my house to Penang Chief Minister and his family and also able to help them with their house problem.
However, renting the house to them had caused me much distress and stress from the BN and NGOs alleging untrue stories about me. By then I decided to sell the house. There were also more incidents in later years from demonstrations and funeral rites held in front of the house, to even molotov cocktails bomb thrown into the house compound which make the house so exposed and unsafe.
There were endless news on the house with its address and pictures splashed all over the newspapers. I felt very uncomfortable that if my relatives or I ever decide to stay there in future, I will not feel safe and secure to stay in such an overly exposed and much publicized house.
So by early year of 2012, I had orally let CMs wife, Betty Chew know that if they were ready and willing to buy, I will sell them the house at RM2.8 million. I was told by Betty that they were interested but CM was worried that he could not afford buying the house if he was not re-elected as the Chief Minister. So Betty asked whether I would still sell the house to them at the same price of RM2.8 million after the 13th General elections.
However after the 13th general election in 2013, CM’s wife told me that they still need some time to purchase the property and she requested for an option to purchase at later date when they were ready to do so. In 2014 CM and I then executed an agreement dated 23.6.2014 whereby I agreed to grant him a 5 year option tenure to purchase the said property at RM2.8million in consideration of CM paying me RM100,000-00. Pending exercising of the option, I shall continue to allow CM and family to continue renting the said property.
Sometime before the extension tenancy was up in 30 June2015, I had made up my mind to dispose off the property for good. I am a businesswoman and I do not wish to tolerate unnecessary stress and have my name splashed all over the newspapers or social media again and again especially when those insensitive people want to attack CM or raise issue on the Taman Manggis land which I am not involved. I decided to sell the property because it attracts so many unnecessary publicities and allegations from time to time.
I had again asked CM’s wife, Betty to request CM to exercise the option to purchase. I did not survey the market when I decided to sell to CM in 2015 because I didn’t think it was necessary. I already have CM as a buyer and there was an understanding pursuant to the Agreement dated 23.6.2014 pertaining to the agreed sale price.
After CM’s wife, Betty told me that they have managed to secure a house loan, we decided to sign the sale agreement at the price we agreed earlier; i.e RM2.8mil. From my records the sale & purchase agreement was signed on 28.7.2015 and the bank released the full loan sum in October, 2015.
CM and his family had been my good tenants for the last 6 years. To me, CM is a respectable leader and I feel very honoured to sell my property to him. I think Penang has done well under his administration. Most importantly I have sold my property to the person I respect. I have no regret of selling my property to CM at RM2.8million. I have cleared myself of unnecessary headache and stress.
I do not understand why my agreement to selling the house to CM has been blown up to such a big national issue when I have no business dealings with the state government. Neither have I obtained any benefit from the state government by selling the house to him.
It is my decision at what price I want to sell to the CM. I stress that I was not pressured or forced or under any undue influence by CM or any party to sell the house to CM at RM2.8 million. I sold at my own free will on a willing buyer and willing seller basis.
I also wish to clarify here that I am not a director nor shareholder of KLIDC company which has successfully bid for the Taman Manggis land under an open tender. I am also not involved in the management of the company. I reserve my right to legal action against any party should they try to make unnecessary connection to complicate the matter and drag me into this controversy.
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.
Subscribed and solemnly
declared by the abovenamed
in the state of Penang ……………………………
on this 22nd day of March 2016
PHANG LI KOON
COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS
The entire SD represents nothing more than a bare denial with the key essence being “willing buyer willing seller” and a denial that she is linked to KLIDC, the company that won the tender for the Taman Manggis state land under controversial circumstances and dubious pricing.
To be sure, the ex-Menteri Besar of Selangor Khir Toyo had also used the “willing buyer, willing seller” excuse on 6 Dec 2010.
“Willing buyer, Willing Seller” excuse did not help Khir Toyo escape jail.
But as we know, that didn’t help him one bit. Khir Toyo was eventually convicted for corruption under Section 165 of the Penal Code. He went to jail and his house was confiscated.
Miss Phang had also mentioned that in early 2012, she had already agreed to verbally agree to sell the house to Lim Guan Eng for RM2.8 million – a mere 8% appreciation after 2 years from her original cost of the house in late 2012 of RM2.57 million (RM2.5mil + RM69,000 stamp duty excluding legal fees).
Miss Phang also said that Lim Guan Eng were very good tenants who probably paid the rental on time. But it is important to note that the majority of the rental was paid for by the Penang State Government and not Lim Guan Eng.
She then mentioned that she signed an option agreement with Lim Guan Eng in 23rd June 2014 where she agreed to grant a 5 year option to purchase the house at RM2.8 million in return for an options fee of RM100,000.
This is of course an unusual arrangement where there is a call option (not sure if there is also a put option) with an options fee too. It’s like they are trading oil futures – very rare in real estate transactions where the price typically goes up and up.
To me, whether the sale consideration was legally sealed in 2014 or 2015 makes no difference as even in June 2014, the RM2.8 million price was severely undervalued already.
For example, no. 34 Pinhorn road, barely 4 houses diagonally opposite of Lim Guan Eng’s house on the same road was transacted just 4 months later at RM722 psf compared to the RM275 psf price for Lim Guan Eng.
It is certainly not possible for the property price to jump almost 3 fold within 4 months.
JPPH transacted valuation of LGE’s neighbout at 34 Jalan Pinhorn
Miss Phang also said that “she does not have any business dealings” with the Penang State Govt -which is not exactly true.
As a 20% owner of Winbond Management and Consultancy Sdn Bhd with an office on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Penang, she was the contact person listed in State-owned agency Invest Penang website as one of the authorized foreign workers supplier in Penang.
It would be interesting to see if she had also supplied manpower to any state-owned companies and what is the volume and profitability of such business dealings.
But it is the majority 80% shareholder of Winbond Management, Datuk Tang Yong Chew, that is interesting.
Since she was listed as the contact person for Winbond, it is reasonable to assume she holds an executive or management position in Winbond and that her boss would be the majority shareholder and probably chairman Datuk Tang Yong Chew – since Datuk Tang owns 80% and she only owns 20%.
Datuk Tang also appears to be Miss Phang’s boss in at least two other companies – Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd and Magnificent Emblem Properties Sdn Bhd.
As you can see in these two other companies, both are the only two shareholders and Datuk Tang’s shareholdings is vastly greater than Miss Phang’s minority shares – meaning the element of control is clearly in Datuk Tang’s hands.
Their company is not a small company with RM75 million in sales.
While Miss Phang denies she is a shareholder or manager in KLIDC which won the Taman Manggis land tender from the Penang state govt., she did not however state that her boss and fellow shareholder in multiple companies is the 70% majority owner (60% under his name and 10% under wife Sally’s name) of KLIDC too.
Miss Phang’s boss, Datuk Tang is the 70% majority controlling shareholder of KLIDC
Given the close business relationship between both persons, it is strange that she said she is not a shareholder nor in the management of KLIDC but did not mention her relationship with the 70% controlling majority shareholder.
At least say lar “I know the boss of KLIDC as he is also my boss in at least 3 other companies!”
Now, under Section 165 of our Penal Code (the same section that Khir Toyo was convicted of), this was stated in regards of corruption or abuse of power regarding Public servants:
Certainly, Lim Guan Eng as the Chief Minister of Penang, the Chairman of the State Planning Committee as well as the Penang State EXCO in charge of land affairs and land development fits the description of “Public Servant” – exactly what Khir Toyo was.
And certainly there is enough evidence (including the stamp duty that Lim Guan Eng paid for the property) which proves that the property he purchased was deeply undervalued – thus fulfilling the “inadequate consideration term”.
Therefore the last key part is up to MACC and the Attorney General to determine if Phang Li Koon fits the description under law of being a person who is “interested in” or “connected person” to Datuk Tang Yong Chew, the 70% majority controlling shareholder of KLIDC which won the Taman Manggis tender under controversial circumstances and pricing by virtue of Miss Phang’s executive position in at least Winbond Management and her close and long-standing legal relationship with Datuk Tang.
That last crucial part would be up to the legal eagles to determine but if indeed this part is also proven then Lim Guan Eng may end up being charged with a possibly similar fate as Khir Toyo.
But in the meantime, Miss Phang’s statutory declaration is yet another bare denial that does not seem to offer anything new other than much praises for Mr Lim Guan Eng and a repeat of Lim Guan Eng’s “willing buyer willing seller” excuse with the added spice that because of her deep respect and honour for Lim Guan Eng, she is willing to forego millions of ringgit in potential profits thus she does not even bother checking the recent valuation of her property.
Given that, this SD is as pointless as the open house to media event and the one-to-one “be here or be square” coffee invitation with Datuk Shabudin “at my office”.
Regardless, to help Miss Phang Li Koon who is the cousin of Penang DAP EXCO Phee Boon Poh strengthen her SD story even more and to prove she was telling the full truth in the SD, she should volunteer the following information:
- Disclose who paid for the renovation and furnishing of the house and how much was such cost prior to you renting out and selling to YAB Lim Guan Eng – this is to prove that you did not in fact sold at a loss to YAB Lim.
- Disclose if any extensions were made during the renovation period and if such extensions received the relevant council approvals
- Disclose the original tenancy agreement including the stamping date, stamp duty paid receipts and stamp duty numbers.
- Disclose the renewal of the tenancy agreement including the stamping date, stamp duty paid receipts and stamp duty numbers.
- Disclose her bank account statements to show the rental payments by Lim Guan Eng every month (you can hide other details and the account balance).
- Disclose the 23 June 2014 sales option agreement including the stamping date, stamp duty paid receipts and stamp duty numbers.
- Show us proof of your bank accounts that RM100,000 was paid by Lim Guan Eng into your account after signing the options agreement
- Show us proof of your bank accounts that RM700,000 was paid by Lim Guan Eng into your account in 2015 after selling the house.
- Show us proof of the RM2.1 million payment from the bank being deposited into your accounts as balance of the house sales proceeds.
Certainly her SD raises more questions than it answers.
In the interest of transparency and to help the exalted Chief Minister of Penang clear his name, please do consider revealing the above.
In the meantime, there are now various allegations of possible tender fraud related to the Taman Manggis land sale to KLIDC being circulated including a police report of this here where “‘It’s like buying a Proton then changing it to a Merc’
And certain confidential state documents being exposed by RPK here which may shock the rakyat.