His main rebuttals:
- He added that there was no need for Lim to make queries about the project in public when he could easily obtain the answers from his officers and other sources.
- To Lim's assertion that the former state government should apologise to the prime minister for misleading him and inviting him to the launch when the project had not even been approved, Dr Teng said the invitation was from the developer Equine Capital Bhd and not the then state government.He stressed that even state government officials were at the launch as invited guests and played no part in organising the event.
- He said the prime minister himself requested, during the launch, that the state government facilitate and assist in the approval of the project
- To another question as to why the state government allowed the developer to sell and promote the project despite the fact that no approval had been given, Dr Teng said: "If the developer wants to do a conceptual launch or promote the project, we cannot stop them. Also, we were not aware what the developer was promoting."
- On the move to rezone the Turf Club land from recreational/open space to new development in the state structural plan, Dr Teng said it was done so that the land could be developed in the future."As far as I am concerned, any development can take place on the land and it is not confined to the PGCC project."
- "You must understand that this is a private land which belongs to a private club and since there was an application to develop it, we figured that it was best to include it into the structural plan."
1) When the new administration took office, most of the documents were either removed or destroyed. Isn't the responsibility of the previous government to be accountable for its actions? If Dr Koh wants to be known as a gentleman politician, surely some honest reply will not hurt but may instead put Gerakan in a good light.
2) On the invitation, granted the PM was not being misled. He was very much part of the project anyway. But why didn't Teng, Dr Koh and several BN councillors stayed away from the launch knowing that it was a controversial project yet to receive approvals? Dr Koh did make a statement that he hoped PGCC will be similar like KLCC so he could enjoy his coffee and at the same time admiring the environment. By attending the launch, the state government is very much part of the event.
3) I remembered talking to some Gerakan leaders about the project and requested them to scale it down. They remarked its difficult for Tsu Koon to defy the PM since the latter had instructed him to expedite the approvals. Only when the issue became a big political risk for BN, Tsu Koon announced that approvals will be considered only after the GE.
4) It is the ignorance of Teng to claim that the state cannot do anything if developers wanted to promote a yet to be approved project. It showed how the last administration was totally out of touch with governance in Penang. Projects yet to be approved cannot be promoted and marketed to the public. It is silly to suggest that its okay for developers to sell projects which are not in existence!
5) By approving the conversion of the land status without determining what would be build on the land is reckless and irresponsible. It is inaccurate for Teng to say that any form of development can take place on the piece of land. There are local council requirements which must be met e.g. green area provision, no of floors allowed, allocation for low cost housing, public amenities ,traffic congestion etc. If what Teng suggested was what happened in the past, then his administration was hopeless and probably responsible for spate of badly developed projects in Penang e.g. Bukit Bendera/Air Putih condos...etc.
Teng should be more responsible in making a statement.