MEDIA to decide the status of golf course lease contract
“The lease payment was issued to a wrong government agency. It’s like a payment to Public Land Authority being made to Zoning Commission,” explained George Rechucher, Chairman of Melekeok Economic Development Investment Authority (MEDIA) in an interview with Island Times regarding a recent news report that Chief Reklai Bao Ngirmang had accepted a lease payment from Chinese investor as Chairman of Melekeok Public Land Authority.
“The contract for the Melekeok golf course required the initial good faith payment from the investor to be paid in installments based on certain conditions being met. The initial payment was made when contract was signed. The deadline for this second payment was October 1st. The investor representative not only issued payment to wrong agency, MPLA, it also gave the money to wrong person,” added Rechucher.
“Reklai called me and told me that a check has been delivered to him and it was written to MPLA which he knew was a wrong agency and told me to come and get the check. I still have the check and we have to return it because it is made to wrong agency,” stated George Rechucher.
The first payment was made to MEDIA so Mr. Rechucher said the investor should know where to issue the second payment. He doesn’t know why they issued the second payment to MPLA instead of MEDIA.
The MEDIA Board will have to decide whether or not to terminate the contract base on payment terms not met said Rechucher.
Moreover he explained that Melekeok Economic Development Investment Authority (MEDIA), created by Melekeok State law is tasked to bring investment and economic development to Melekeok State. It executes investment contracts through Melekeok Public Land Authority with approval of Melekeok State Legislature and Governor.
As an investment authority, Rechucher said MEDIA receives proceeds of lease contracts which are appropriated by State Legislature as source of funds for public projects.
“By law, legislature has to review and approve any contract we develop with investor before contracts are executed,” added Rechucher. This golf course lease contract went through this process according to Rechucher.
Melekeok Economic Development & Investment Authority will meet the investors’ representatives this week to address this matter. (L.N. Reklai)