By Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary –General and MP for Tanjung , Lim Kit Siang , in Penang on Saturday , 8 January 1994;
Will the new MPPP Council decide at its first meeting to impose a 20-year freeze on all future development on Hotel Metropole land as a punishment for the desecration of Penang heritage and culture and to serve as a warning for the future.
Penang Chief Minister, Dr.Koh Tsu Koon, announced the composition of the MPPP two days ago.
Will the new MPPP Council decide at first meeting to impose a 20-year freeze on all future development on Hotel Metropole land as a punishment for the desecration of Penang heritage , culture , tradition and history and to serve as a warning and deterrent for other owners of heritage land.
If the new MPPP Council is not prepared to take a tough stand on the demolition of the Hotel Metropole , then it will furnish another example of the ineffectiveness of an unelected and unrepresentative Municipal Council.
The summon served by MPPP President , Datuk Tan Gim Hwa on the RM 2 company , Dolphin Square Sdn. Bhd to restore 100-year old Hotel Metropole in six months under Section 27 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 is useless and ridiculous for heritage buildings once destroyed cannot be rebuilt. What is rebuilt is only a copy , and not the original heritage building!
Section 27 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 is designed to enforce compliance with planning control and not to restore heritage buildings.
Architects and the construction industry have questioned as to how a 100-year-old building could be rebuilt after it had been demolished? Is it possible to find the exact building materials used for the construction of Nova Scotia – which later became Hotel Metropole – in 1990 . Tam Gin Hwa have up to now not been able to answer my query as whether MPPP has the original building plans of Nova Scotia or a scale drawing of the building.
For this reason, unless the MPPP impose a 20-year freeze for all future development on Hotel Metropole land, the MPPP is not being serious about the sacrilege to Penang heritage and history committed by the demolition of Hotel Metropole.
In this connection , Tan Gim Hwa should not continue to put up a front of ignorance about the many grave issues that have arisen in the MPPP under his administration.
Can be still claim ignorance for instance that in the Taman Midlands ‘ One Stop Centre’ project , its developer Pangkal Permat (M) Sdn. Bhd. Had sold its commercial units when planning approvals by MPPP had not been given , and which is violation of a clause in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between MPPP and Pangkal Permata on October 30, 1993.
Can be also claim ignorance about the Cabinet directive to review all hill development after Highland Towers Disaster Collapse in Selangor, and that as MPPP President , he shuld set a good personal example in stopping all construction work on his private bungalow which is on hillslope on Pearl Hill – until there is a certification by a qualified consultant that it is safe and would not cause erosion and environmental damage?
Will the new MPPP at first meeting dare to address all these three issues – Hotel Metropole Demolition Scandal , Taman Midlands scandal and the private bungalow of Tan Gim Hwa on Pearl Hill?