THREE candidates have been proposed as the new Trustees for the Penang and Province Wellesley Silver Jubilee Fund (“Corporation”).
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the current Board of Trustees chairman, revealed that he suggested former state executive councillor Datuk Seri Chong Eng, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, and Batu Uban assemblyman A. Kumaresan during the state executive council meeting earlier today.
The selections are based on Chong Eng’s experience, Sim Tze Tzin and Kumaresan’s commitment, and the location of the Silver Jubilee Home For The Aged in their constituencies.
The appointment, for a transition period, awaits consideration by Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak.
“The appointment serves as a transitional phase. At an opportune moment, we will assess whether to retain the current appointees or consider new individuals,” Chow told a media conference when asked about the matter at Jen Hotel today.
The former Trustees Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping, Datuk Loh Yeow Boo and Bernard Kok resigned, prompting this transition.
Chow said the new General Committee members would be appointed once the new Trustees have their first meeting.
Chow also addressed recent remarks by Tan, emphasising the need for the Board to decide on matters related to the proposed project concerning the construction of workers’ hostel blocks.
“Tan’s remarks in his press conference on Dec 5 only proved what I said concerning the proposed project was true,” Chow asserted.
The proposed project refers to the construction of five blocks of workers’ hostel and an amenity block on the now unutilised portion of vacant land which also houses the Silver Jubilee Home For The Aged.
The land in question belongs to the Penang and Province Wellesley Silver Jubilee Fund (“Corporation”), in which Chow is the current Board of Trustees chairman, by virtue of his position as the Penang Chief Minister. This is also stated in Section 3(1) of the Penang and Province Wellesley Jubilee Fund Act 1965 (“Jubilee Fund Act”).
“Initially, he (Tan) claimed that since the vacant land, housing the Silver Jubilee Home For The Aged, is not owned by the Penang government, an open tender process for the proposed project is unnecessary.
“However, it is crucial to note that the open tender process extends beyond government entities; private companies also employ it for their projects.
“Importantly, the land, including the Silver Jubilee Home For The Aged, is not under Tan Kok Ping’s ownership. Instead, it belongs to the Penang and Province Wellesley Silver Jubilee Fund.
“He (Tan) cannot assert that an open tender process is unnecessary simply because the proposed project is not under state government ownership; such a claim is both incorrect and irrelevant.
“It is imperative for him to present this matter to the Board for a decision on whether an open tender process should be initiated or not. Regrettably, this crucial process did not take place,” Chow explained.
In response to Tan’s second remark about the drafted legal documents being prepared by lawyers, Chow emphasised that, according to the draft documents, the Corporation is unequivocally unrepresented in the Master Contract, Tenancy Agreement, and Lease Agreement, with the exception of the draft Power of Attorney (POA).
“In legal terms, ‘unrepresented’ signifies the absence of representation by a legal firm.
“The draft agreement explicitly states that the Corporation is not represented by any law firms. I am merely conveying the information as presented in the draft agreement,” he stressed.
Chow added: “Tan asserted that Bernard Kok, the Board trustee at that time, is a lawyer.”
“However, it is crucial to note that Kok is not representing the Corporation. Even if he was, it would constitute a conflict of interest.
“In this context, it is not logical for Tan to say that the Corporation is represented because Kok is there. That is absolute nonsense,” Chow said.
Chow also responded to Tan’s intention of legal action, asserting readiness.