by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 12th March, 1992:
Dr. Ting Chew Peh is probably the most ineffective and impotent Housing Minister in Malaysian history.
I have said that the Ministry of Housing and Local Govern¬ment is the most inefficient and incompetent Federal Ministry in Malaysia. But Dr. Ting Chew Peh is probably the most ineffective and impotent Housing Minister in Malaysian history.
There are many reasons for the abysmal failures of the housing programmes and targets of the Federal Government but undoubtedly, one of the most important reasons is that Dr. Ting is very indecisive, ineffective and impotent, and has completely novision and not provided any leadership to the housing objectives of the country.
Otherwise, the Housing Developers’ Association (HDA) would not be agitating for the increase in the price of the Special Low-Cost Housing Programme (SLCHP) units which had been fixed at $25,000, after an abject failure in completing only one-third of the 328,391 units after six years, when they should all have been completed in three years from 1986-1989.
The HDA executive secretary, Yin Ee Kok, said yesterday that the government’s SLCHP will be unsuccessful if the ceiling price of the houses is not raised from the current $25,000.
He said that the $25,000 ceiling was unrealistic and that the government should increase it if it wanted full participation from housing developers.
This is a most shocking statement and position of the HDA, as well as the most eloquent testimony of my statement that Dr. Ting Chew Peh is the most ineffective and impotent Housing Minister in
Last week, Dr. Ting Chew Peh announced that the Federal Government’s SLCHP to build 328,391 low-cost housing units in a three year crash programme from 1986-1989 had failed a second time when it was extended for another three years till June 1992, having completed only 34 per cent of the target, and would be extended for another three years till the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1995.
I had commented that based on Dr. Ting’s performance as Housing Minister, there is no guarantee that the SLCHP could be com¬pleted even at the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan, as 106,339 units or 32 per cent of the SLCHP are still at the planning stage which means they might never go beyond the drawing board at all!
The HDA has no moral, social and legal right to ask for the raising of the $25,000 ceiling price for the SLCHP low-cost units.
My pessimistic forecast have been vindicated faster than I had expected, for the HDA is now publicly stating that the SLCHP would fail unless the ceiling price of $25,.000 is raised.
Firstly, let it be fully understood by the Minister for Housing, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, and the HDA that if the $25,000 ceiling price for the low-cost housing units is raised, then it is no more the SLCHP
as conceived in 1986.
Tan Ghim Hwa did not just take one week, but three long weeks before he chaired the first MPPP Council yesterday. The people of Penang would not begrudge Tan Ghim Hwa requiring three weeks instead of one week to decide on the priorities for MPPP if he could come out with a sound and masterly vision and programme for Penang, but after three weeks of orientation and briefings, Tan Ghim Hwa could only say at the MPPP meeting that ‘he had nothing to say’!
Does Tan Ghim Hwa think that the three qualities of the MPPP President and MPPP Councillors are to
be blind, deaf and dumb like the three traditional monkeys?
Can anyone imagine, for instance, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, after he was appointed Prime Minister, telling the Cabinet or Parliament after three weeks that he had nothing to say?
It would appear that the most important qualifications for the MPPP President and the MPPP Councillors are to be like the three traditional monkeys, who have eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that talk not.
I do not know where Tan Ghim Hwa has got the inspiration that the three most essential ingredients of a MPPP President and MPPP Councillor are to be blind, deaf and dumb – but let me tell him and the 24 MPPP Councillors that they have let down the people of Penang terribly!
Tan Ghim Hwa has no vision, ideas or notion to make Penang into a historic and civic centre which is a pleasant place to work, live and visit.
It is indeed most shocking that after three weeks as MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa has no vision or priorities to impart at the first MPPP full Council meeting, showing that he is thoroughly devoid of vision, plans, programmes, ideas or notions about how to make Penang into a city which will be the model not only for Malaysia but for Asia and even the world as a historic city and civic and cultural centre which is a pleasant place to work, live and visit.
Tan Ghim Hwa has no vision for Penang of the 21st century and has no ideas or views as to how to deal with the many complex problems of traffic, housing, public transport, security, hygiene, cleanliness and an ever-higher quality of life for Penangites.
This is very obvious because a person, with a vision will make use of every opportunity to speak of his ideas, plans and programmes for Penang and the 600,000 inhabitants. Only a person who has no vision and completely devoid of ideas could say that he has nothing to say!
The DAP is particularly disappointed for in the past three weeks, we had made various proposals to help Tan Ghim Hwa focus on the priority areas and make up his mind about his vision, plans and programmes for providing improved Municipal services and bringing about a better quality of life to the 600,000 people on the Penang island.
Tan Ghim Hwa was appointed MPPP with the specific task of cleaning up the three MPPP ills of ‘decadence, impotence and in efficiency’ publicly admitted by the Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, and the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim.
If Tan Ghim Hwa in his three weeks as MPPP President dare not publicly admit the triple MPPP ills, he cannot be expected to lead a war against the MPPP’s ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’.
It is very significant that in his three weeks as MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa had not dared to reiterate Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Anwar Ibrahim’s castigation of the MPPP for its ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ or make any statement that his mission is to wipe out the three MPPP ills of ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’.
If Tan Ghim Hwa dare not even publicly admit the triple MPPP ills of ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’, it is clear that he cannot be expected to lead a war or campaign against these three ills.In fact, it would appear that the triple MPPP ills of ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ had been so ingrained and deep-rooted that they have, become a powerful MPPP culture where even the new MPPP President must succumb.
As the MPPP President is not prepared to admit and declare war on the MPPP’s triple ills of ‘decadence, impotence and inefficien¬cy’, this means that the MPPP under Tan Ghim Hwa as President has not changed from the past, and is still plagued with the same triple ills of ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ as before.
The people of Penang had expected the MPPP Council yesterday to throw light on the following:
1. Acknowledgement by MPPP of the triple MPPP ills of ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ and commitment and first priority by MPPP President and the 24 MPPP Councillors to declare war on them.
2. The identification and announcement of the areas of the MPPP’s ‘decadence, impotence, and inefficiency’ and a concrete action plan to wipe out such ills;
3. The immediate suspension of all MPPP harassment and victimisation of the hawkers on the Penang island and the holding of regular dialogues with the hawker’s, including dialogues and circulars in Chinese for the convenience of hawkers with language problems;
4. Fair and equal treatment to all ratepayers and all areas, regardless of party politics;
5. No sale of Municipal Land without public notice to avoid unethical practices, conflicts of interest or unsound judgment;
6. How MPPP should honour its legal, moral and politi¬cal commitment to rebuild and reinstate the
two demol¬ished Thean Teik Estate dwellings as the sewerage, construction works had been completed; and
7. Whether the 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors who were in the previous Council are prepared to accept respon¬sibility and he collectively surcharged to reimburse the MPPP for the loss of $70,000 suffered by the MPPP for the bad decision in selling the Mercedes Benz 200 E to the outgoing MPPP President early last year. The MPPP spent $20,000 to spruce up the Mercedes Benz and was sold to the outgoing MPPP President for $25,000, but within less than a year, the car was resold at a price in the region of $95,000!