KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The disposal of a tower building in Hong Kong that houses the Consulate-General of Malaysia's office was actually proposed during the previous administration, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
The sale was initially proposed to be undertaken via direct negotiation at the price of RM1.1 billion, he said, a lower price compared with the RM1.6 billion price tag that had now been achieved via open tender under the Pakatan Harapan government.
"The decision to dispose of the Malaysian Consulate in Hong Kong was made by MP Pekan [former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak] himself during the Barisan Nasional administration," Lim revealed in the Dewan Rakyat today.
"The offer letter was issued by himself. This was because the cost to repair the building is at RM300 million. Because of that, the decision by [Najib] was to dispose of the building. But the decision was [to undertake the disposal via] direct negotiations, [to sell it at the] price of RM1.1 billion," said Lim.
He was commenting on recent news reports about the 28-storey tower located along the Glouchester Rd in Wanchai, Hong Kong, which houses several Malaysian government agencies' offices.
News reports stated that the Malaysian government planned to sell the building for HK$3.1 billion or nearly RM1.6 billion. China Evergrande Group is reportedly in talks to acquire the building.
Though Lim confirmed the offer for sale that is now to be undertaken by the PH government, he did not reveal the identity of the buyer.