Yesterday, nine legislators submitted two suggestions at Government Headquarters with the objective of moving towards a resolution on the Pearl Horizon case.
The first suggestion proposed by the legislators advocated combining ways of repaying the land debt and special concession in order to allow the developer to continue the construction of the supposed plan.
The suggestions urged the MSAR Government to use part of the land plot for the Pearl Horizon construction to repay the previous owner of another land plot in Ilha Verde, in which the owner of the plot in Ilha Verde is a subsidiary of Polytex Polytex Corporation Ltd., the developer of the Pearl Horizon project.
If the subsidiary company obtained the plot, it would be required to develop it in order to resolve the case of Pearl Horizon, according to the proposal.
Moreover, the legislators suggested that in the first case the reclaimed land from Polytex could be granted via special land concession procedures in line with the new Land Law.
The new land contract would thus include special responsibilities, such as exploiting part of the facilities – for example, car park or residential units – for public use or accommodation for civil servants.
The developer obtaining the land would also be required to pay the land premium payment and bear the responsibility to compensate off-plan unit buyers who had already paid, according to the suggestion.
The second suggestion, in accordance with the new Land Law, is to grant the returned land to the responsible bank involved in the project, with the exemption of public land bidding.
Article 55 of the Land Law defines the protection of third party benefits, in this case the benefits of the bank offering the mortgage service.
The nine legislators presenting the suggestions were Kwan Tsui Hang, Chan Meng Kam, Lam Heong Sang, Si Ka Lon, Ella Lei Cheng I, Song Pek Kei, Ho Ion Sang, Chan Hong and Wong Kit Cheng.
Suggestions based upon legal framework
The spokesperson of the group, legislator Kwan Tsui Hang, said: “The main point is to find solutions in line with the current law as much as possible and allow the developer to continue its responsibility for the project”.
She assured that the suggestions delivered by the group were based upon the current legal framework, while adding that the legislators had spent some two months composing the proposal.
Kwan also said it is necessary to slightly alter the new Land Law, explaining that problems could have been solved in the beginning if the law had properly fit the situation.
“Obviously, whether it is feasible depends upon the government’s analysis,” said Kwan. “But better than the government not providing any solutions until now.”
The legislator noted that one of the most important points of the dispute is whether the developer would bear responsibility.
Corresponding to a previous petition signed by 19 legislators and submitted two months ago, Kwan reiterated that the Pearl Horizon case should be handled individually.
Meanwhile, when asked by the press the reason for a decrease in the number of legislators vis-à-vis the previous petition Kwan explained that the petition two months ago was urging the government to deal with the case individually based upon the current law, adding that some legislators had not participated in composing the proposal in question, while others had publicly announced the submission of their own suggestions to the government.
Kwan also explained that the reason for disclosing possible solutions to the public was to prevent the accusation of transfer of benefits among related parties, as well as to keep the public well informed and allow more opinions to be aired.
Last Friday, the Court of Second Instance ruled in favour of Pearl Horizon developer Polytex Corporation Ltd’s request that the MSAR Government be called to a trial initiated by the buyer of a housing unit in the contentious residential project.
Another new residential project by Polytex – located on plots T and T1 on reclaimed Areia Preta land – received its Occupation Permit from the MSAR Government on Monday.
The developer managed to complete the project before the deadline of the land concession on July 5 this year, meaning that buyers of the property’s off-plan units would not endure similar circumstances to the purchasers of the Pearl Horizon project.
Kwan Tsui Hang to step down
Legislator Kwan Tsui Hang, the chairman of the first standing committee of the Legislative Assembly, confirmed that she will not participate in the upcoming elections.
After serving the city for 21 years, Kwan said it is inevitable to remove oneself from the process in order to allow new blood to take part.
“It’s time for me to retire,” said Kwan.