By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday,4th January , 1994:
DAP calls for the convening of an emergency Penang State Assembly meeting on the MPPP Hotel Metropole scandal where the Hotel Gerakan was arbitrarily removed from the MPPP list of conservation buildings without public notice and swiftly demolished before there could be public objections
The 1994 Visit Malaysia Year has not starred auspiciously for Penang because of two events:
The outrageous and scandalous demolition of Hotel Metropole, one of the 20 conservation buildings on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah which had been on the MPPP list since 1989, representing a great setback in the promotion of Penang as a tourist centre for cultural tourism and heritage buildings and
The death of a Taiwanese tourist , Liew Pau Ching, yesterday after the fishing boat taking 16 tourists on a cruise off Batu Ferringhi capsized.
If the Penang State government is serious about protecting and promoting the tourist attraction of Penang, the Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, should take these two developments seriously – as they could do enormous damage to Penang tourism.
The demolition of the Hotel Metropole – which is well known by its nickname ‘Hotel Gerakan’ because of the long involvement of Gerakan leaders – is not only a threat to heritage development and cultural tourism in Penang, but a most undemocratic action.
This is because ‘Hotel Gerakan’ was arbitrarily removed from the MPPP list of 20 conservation buildings on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah- or ‘millionaires Row’ – since 1989, without public notice or consultation, or its swift demolition on Christmas Day before there could be public objection of protest.
The stealthy manner in which the ‘ Hotel Gerakan’ was demolished on Christmas day shows that its perpetrators know that what they were doing was very wrong , a sacrilege against the heritage of Penang and completely against public interest. It is a disgrace that a holy day like Christmas should be chosen to carry out a despicable and scandalous deed ad to destroy a heritage building in Penang.
DAP calls for the convening of an emergency Penang State Assembly meeting on the Hotel Metropole scandal.
One MPPP Councillor from Gerakan had clear conflict of interest in the demolition of Hotel Metropole
The public are entitled to know why the MPPP and in particular its President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa, had acted so arbitrarily and high-handedly in surreptiously removing Hotel Metropole from the MPPP list of 20 conservation buildings on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah without public notice and consultation , as well as why the MPPP connived in the scandalously swift demolition of Hotel Metropole on Christmas Day.
The public are also entitled to know all instances of conflict of interest in the Hotel Metropole scandal- whether involving the MPPP President or the MPPP councillors.
One MPPP councillors from Gerakan had clear conflict of interest in this scandal – and this is why the State Exco at its meeting tomorrow should convene an emergency State Assembly meeting.