GEORGE TOWN: The previous owner of the Pinhorn Road house has made a statutory declaration (SD), explaining why she sold the place to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for RM2.8 million.
"I did not survey the market when I decided to sell the house to the chief minister in 2015 because I didn't think it was necessary," businesswoman Phang Li Koon stated in the SD.
The selling price was agreed upon in an agreement dated June 23, 2014, with Lim, she said in the SD which was read out by state executive council member Phee Boon Poh at a press conference yesterday.
Phang was not present at the press conference.
Asked why he was reading her SD, Phee said he was a distant relative and an adviser to the Phang Association.
In the SD, Phang said the June agreement granted Lim a five-year option to buy the property at RM2.8 million in consideration of the chief minister paying her RM100,000 in earnest money.
The June agreement was not produced at the press conference yesterday.
Phang, who had been renting the house to the Lims, said she decided to sell the house because she was much distressed from renting it out. (Lim had been renting the house for RM5,000 a month from 2009.)
Phang claimed that there were some untrue stories made about her by Barisan Nasional and NGOs.
"There were more incidents in later years when demonstrations and mock funeral rites were held in front of the house. Even a molotov cocktail bomb was thrown into the house.
"If my relatives or I ever decide to stay there in future, I will not feel safe and secure in such an overly exposed and publicised house," she said.
Phang said she bought the house in 2008 for RM2.5mil and carried out some renovation for her brother to stay there.
In early 2012, she had indicated verbally to Lim's wife Betty Chew that she was willing to sell it to them for RM2.8mil if they were keen to buy it.
Phang said she was not pressured or forced to sell the property at RM2.8mil.
"I sold at my own free will on a willing buyer, willing seller basis," she said.
Phang said she did not have any 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 to sell to the chief minister at what price I want," Phang said.
She added that she was not a director or shareholder of the company, KLIDC, which won the bid for the Taman Manggis land.
"I am also not involved in the management of the company. I reserve my right to take legal action against any party who try to make unnecessary connection to complicate the matter and drag me into this controversy," she said.
When asked whether Phang was legally bound by the June agreement to sell the property at RM2.8mil, Phee said: "When a Phang makes such a deal, he or she would always honour it."
Penang Chief Minister gives reporters a tour of his 'undervalued' bungalow