By Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary –General and MP for Tanjung , Lim Kit Siang , in Peneng on Wednesday , 5th January 1994;
Calls in the new owner of Hotel Metropole land to come toward publicy and explain whether the demolition of ‘ Hotel Gerakan ‘ was one condition for the RM 9.5 million transaction
There has been an eerie silence from the MPPP , the Penang State Government and the new owners in the last ten days on the scandalous and outrageous demolition of Hotel Metropole – which has also been nicknamed in the last two decades as” Hotal Gerakan” – on Christmasn Day.
It would appear as if the MPPP , the Pennag State Government and the new owners realize that what had happened on Christmas Day was a great sacrilege against the heritage, tradition and history to Penang – something so disgraceful and dishonourable which cannot see the ‘light of day’ – that everybody wants to avoid having to say anything about it in public.
However , there is no way for the MPPP President , Datuk Tan Gim Hwa to continue to keep silent in this latest MPPP scandal under his administration.
The high-handed , arbitrary and surreptitious removal of Hotel Metropole – or’ Hotel Gerakan’ from the MPPP list of 20 conversation buildings at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah without public notice or discussion is not only the height of undemocratic, unaccountable and untransparent action , but a violation of the four-year MPPP policy on conservation and heritage buildings and the Penang Island Structure Plan.
If the MPPP President himself has no respect for the Penang Island Structure Plan, why should the Penang rateplayers respect him or the MPPP?
The Penang Island Structure Plan, which was formulated following a process of public discussion, Consultation and public hearings, identified Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah as one of the areas worthy of conservation because of its unique character and historical importance.
If the MPPP President himself has no respect for the Penang Island Structure Plan, and could arbitrarily and high-handedly violate both its spirit and letter , why should the Penang ratepayers respect the MPPP President or the MPPP?
There is also no way for the Penang Chief Minister , Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, to continue to keeep silent on the destruction of Hotel Metropole – or ‘Hotel Gerakan’ – as the demolition of this heritage building at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah is a direct challenge by Tam Gim Hwa to the State Government’s new policy to encourage heritage development and preservation of historical buildings with economic potential.
There is also no way for a third party to continue to keep silent on the demolition of Hotel Metropole or ‘Hotel Gerakan’ – the new owners of the Hotel Metropole site.
I call on the new owners of Hotel Metropole site to come toward and indentify themselves and explain whether the demolition of Hotel Metropole or ‘Hotel Gerakan’ was a condition for the RM9.5 million purchase of the property , which was executed very recently.
I know who are the real owners, who are one of the prominent Penang businessman groups in the country , but I think it is only proper that the real purchases should step forward to explain and justify the demolition of one of the heritage buildings in Penang – Hotel Metropole or ‘ Hotel Gerakan’!