GEORGE TOWN (Nov 15): Penang has totally lost the ownership of Pulau Jerejak after Penang Development Corp (PDC) sold its 49% ownership in Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB) to Ideal Properties subsidiary, Q Island Development.

Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, Teng Chang Yeow said that if the state government had gazetted the island as a state park eight years ago, Penangites would not have lost every inch of the island to a private company, Bernama reported today.

"In 2013, the DAP-led state government through PDC had cancelled the deal with Ideal Properties and according to PDC sources, if the deal had gone through, the state could make a potential profit of RM220 million," he told a press conference, here, today.

However, Teng said, instead of approving the joint venture in 2013, the state government sold the 49% of the island shares for RM156 million this year, Bernama reported.

The project to redevelop Pulau Jerejak will be a joint venture between Q Island Development and UDA Holdings, a government-linked company.

TIRSB is a joint-venture company between UDA Holdings Bhd and PDC with percentage equity of 51% and 49% respectively. As the owner of the Jerejak Rainforest Resort & Spa, it had appointed Bestari Hospitality Management to operate the resort since 2004.

The redevelopment plans, which have been approved by the state government, will comprise 1,200 units of residential development, a marina, four- and five-star hotels, theme park, an 11.5km round island cycling track and related infrastructure to promote tourism in the state.

The resort is said to be quite popular among local tourists and TIRSB believes Q Island Development will be able to re-brand the operations, enhance the value of the development and turn around the loss-making property.

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