By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim kit Siang, in Penang on Saturday, 1st January 1994:
DAP calls on Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to freeze the re-appointment of MPPP councillors until they could give a satisfactory explanation for the undemocratic decision on Hotel Metropole which violates the principles of accountability, transparency and responsibility.
MPPP President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa must explain why the MPPP had been so undemocratic in violating the principles of accountability and transparency in removing Hotel Metropole from the MPPP list of 20 conservation buildings at Millionaires’ row in Georgetown without public consultation or notice.
The stealthy and surreptitious manner in which the MPPP removed Hotel Metropole from the MPPP’s list of 20 conservation buildings at Millionaires’ Row – and the speed with which this heritage building was demolished – are all the more deplorable as the MPPP had arbitrarily reversed an earlier 1989 MPPP decision which drew up a list of 20 conservation buildings to encourage heritage development and conservation of historical buildings in Georgetown.
In fact, as recently as December 1992, MPPP Councillor Chin Fook Weng, was quoted publicly in the press as confirming that the MPPP had identified 20 heritage buildings along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah or Millionaires’ Row for conservation.
When did the MPPP arbitrarily reverse the the four- year decision on the conservation of 20 heritage buildings at Millionaires Row what were the reasons, and why was the whole process camouflaged from the public as if something dishonourable or disreputable was taking place?
DAP calls on the Pennag Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, to freeze the re-appointment of incumbent MPPP councillors for the new year of 1994 until they could give a satisfactory explanation for the undemocratic decision in removing Metropole Hotel from the MPPP’s list of 20 heritage buildings, completely in disregard of the principles of accountability, transparency and responsibility.
In fact, this is mot the omly MPPP scandal which the MPPP councillors for 1993 must answer for, as there is another scandal involving the Taman Midlands Projects in Pulau Tikus.
Both the Taman Mid lands and Hotel Metropole scandals should cause the Penang Chief Minister and the State Exco to review the whole system of appointment of MPPP Councillors – as to whether MPPP councillors appointed by the State Governmant realise that their primary duty is to the ratepayers and not to the MPPP President of their respective political parties and that they must be guided by the democratic principles of accountability, transparency and responsibility in the discharge of their duties.
As Chief Minister who is finally responsible for MPPP and the appointment of MPPP Councillors, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon cannot disclaim responsibility for the Taman Midlands and Hotel Metropole scandals, and it is time that he make his stand on these two scandals clearly without equivocation.