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Jan 23, 2017

Clarifying Chon Saan – Lee Mark talks to News Five

Back in December, this station, having gleaned information from reliable sources, questioned whether the Government of Belize would pay as much as four million Belize dollars for the Chon Saan Palace Restaurant building in Belmopan. It is owned by the Chang family, whose son Lee Mark Chang is president of the Senate and a former political candidate for the United Democratic Party. The Government is eyeing it as a potential replacement for the Immigration Department, with the sweetener of a two-million Belize-dollar passport machine from the U.S. Government. But during a meeting of the House of Representatives ten days ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the price that the Changs are seeking is considered excessive, in light of a Government-sponsored valuation that puts the value at about three hundred thousand dollars less than their asking price. As we found out from Chang himself today, though, that asking price is significantly lower than first reported.

 

Lee Mark Chang

Lee Mark Chang, Manager, Chon Saan Palace

“First of all, that four million dollars – there is no four million dollars’ deal: it didn’t even come up. The asking price for the building is one point six five million dollars, period! We are still in negotiations, and if Government accepts, then we can continue; if it doesn’t accept, then  we just need to look for alternatives, or we just need to move on.  There is checks and balances to do business with the Government. So I have certain procedures to go through before I could do anything with the Government, as I said in my last interview. So I [have] my President of the Senate seat, and I keep that separate from my business. Politics is politics; business is business.”

 

Chang says he was never telephoned or messaged to confirm the figure by any media house. For the record, News Five can confirm that we did call his restaurant in Belmopan as well as visited the Kelly Street location seeking him on the day the story was reported. As we stated at the time and which he confirmed today, he was out of the country, according to one of his employees.

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2 Responses for “Clarifying Chon Saan – Lee Mark talks to News Five”

  1. timber says:

    And I’ve said before, even though he’s a friend, the purchase of the building is not worth it. We should pass laws that seek to cease the rental of and purchases of properties from these ministers, their relatives and cronies for governmental businesses and purpose. Why can’t a building like Complex be constructed that belongs solely to the people and the government? Hopefully it looks better and is maintained better than Complex. Damn near all of these government offices are rented out from a minister or political cronies. People of Belize, wake up. Every day you see injustice right in front of your faces and do nothing. And what makes anyone think that getting that building will guarantee Belize getting a new passport machine from the US? What part of that building is secured enough to such standards and who will deem it fit?

  2. Truth says:

    Nicely Put business is business.. PM does not seem to understand that and as a result he involves politics in everything to get away with hi nonsensical practices and doings..

    our country is going bad to worse..

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