P Dev Anand Pillai
25 Mar 2016
Everyone seems to be asking Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to go on leave, the question is why should he if he has done no wrong? Since when do we have a law which forces the willing seller of a property to sell one’s property at market price? Who determines the market price?
We have the freedom to contract in this country and that is what most of those who wield power in Putrajaya do when it comes to the huge and luxurious properties that they have amassed in their list of properties that they own.
If the seller chooses to sell at a certain price which the Valuation Department of the Inland Revenue Board thinks is below the market rate determined by its valuers, then the Department values the property at the market rate and determines the stamp duty payable, although the purchase price is lower than the so-called market price.
The Valuation Department always takes the higher amount. Therefore if the property is actually valued at about RM6.5 million as the dissidents seem to accuse the purchaser of escaping, then there must a clear reason for this.
Are all the properties in the famed Taman Manggis that expensive?
Or does a normal old bungalow house with some extensions here and there which even most civil servants of humble origins do to their houses suddenly become super-expensive because the buyer happens to be the chief minister of Penang?
If a closer look at the house is made, the house doesn’t seem that big and great at all! It is a normal double storey bungalow which is the types that were built during the 70s and early 80s. This kind of houses can be seen everywhere in most old housing estates in Old Kuala Lumpur, Cheras, Ampang, Old Klang Road, Petaling Jaya, Setapak, Klang, Ipoh and Taiping, to name a few.
For extensive renovations to be done to such buildings with a view to then hike up the valuation price of these properties to exorbitant amounts is just plain bulls**t.
Who governs this? Is the Valuation Department bothered? We don’t see Valuation Department staffers at the site of the properties which are in the midst of the process of being sold to actually take down details to prepare a valuation report! Only Bank valuers do that at the moment. So what a load of crap are most of these dissidents harping about?
Furthermore the seller has been very clear in her statutory declaration that she had intended to sell the house to the CM of Penang after having promised his wife that she would sell it to them at that given price once they are ready to purchase it. This purchase has been blown to this magnitude just because the purchaser of the property is none other than Lim Guan Eng who is a leader who is known to stand up to the notion of Malay supremacy and might which the ruling federal government expects every citizen in this country to conform to.
Most of the comments coming from the pallbearer parties within the federal ruling coalition don’t seem to make any sense at all. Have they perused the Contracts Act 1950 on the area of offer and acceptance before making their comments?
One is sure that Lim Kit Siang and his son Lim Guan Eng know that the entire Malay pro-establishment diaspora and those who are in blind allegiance to them will have a highly-powered magnifying glass from above looking into every detail of their lives to see if everything is above board so will there be any attempt to skirt around issues if there is one to begin with?
Now, there is a question of a purchaser having to know what the market price of a property that he or she is interested in before one starts the process of purchasing the said property; Yes, agreed. But what stops the seller from selling at a price which he or she prefers to sell? Even if the property is valued at say RM6.5 million, what stops the seller from selling at a lower price if he or she is willing to do it even if it is not at the behest of the purchaser?
It is the Valuation Department’s responsibility
Can the seller be forced to sell at the market price? Or must the purchaser be duty bound by a duty of care to remind the seller to sell him the property at the market price even though the seller is not bothered? The whole thing looks very stupid! It is the Valuation Department’s responsibility to use its resources to find out the actual value of the property and determine the stamp duty based on that finding.
This entire episode is nothing but an attempt to demonise and cook up false allegations on Guan Eng and to play it up continuously like what they did to Anwar Ibrahim and see if the intended victim falls but sad to say, they are dealing with a Chinese male with a lot of scrotal gumption which many Chinese males in Malaysian politics wish they had but they don’t.
Most will be cowed by the might of the state and the media it controls when they continuously peddle lies in the hope of making it true if it is continuously repeated and then bury the political opponent once and for all. Guan Eng is not so stupid to make mistakes or direct the Valuation department to be favourable to him because of his position.
What the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), its pallbearer coalition partners, new-found friend PAS and so many NGOs and civil society groups have done is to further enhance and sodify Guan Eng’s position as the victim in the political games and ploys which they play to demonise and destroy him politically.
They fail to realise that by doing this, they further alienate the ethnic Chinese voters to become entrenched voters of the opposition coalition. It is not about being cocky, arrogant or being a braggart, it is about standing up to the notion of Malay supremacy and might, until and unless that is done, the bullying will never stop.
P DEV ANAND PILLAI is a social observer with keen interest in history, law, politics and international relations concerning our country and one who believes that our multi-cultural fabric is our greatest strength.