Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Dap Secretary- General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Tanjong 3 committee meeting held in Penang on Tuesday , January 11, 1994 at 830pm.
If Tsu Koon can sweep streets on the Penang island, he cannot pretend that he has no responsibility over the Hotel Metropole demolition.
In the last three weeks of public controversy over the scandals and outrangeous demolition of the 100-year –old Penang heritage building Hotel Metropolr , the Penang Chief Minister . Dr, Koh Tsu Koon had been strangely unconcerned.
He had only made one comment when announcing the new councillors for the MPPP and MPPP last Tuesday that the supported the MPPP president , Datuk Tan Gim Hwa in directing the new owner, The RM2 company Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd to rebuild Hotel Metropole in six months.
This is a most ridiculous and irresponsible response by the Penang Chief Minister to the ‘lighting demolition ‘ of hotel Metropole on Christmas Day without any reaction from MPPP for 10 days.
A responsible and authoritative Chief Minister would have wanted to know at least the following eight aspects:
Why did the new real owners of the Hotel Metropole property , who should have been responsible pillars of the Penang society as a number of them had been awarded Penang society as a number of them had been awarded Penang State honours by the State Government , act in so irresponsible a manner as to demolish Hotel Mertopole and destry an important part of the heritage , tradition ,cultures and history of Penang.
Whether the new real owners had been given an understanding by the old owners who are prominent Gerakan Leaders as well as certain powerful quarters in MPPP that Hotel Metropole could be some unfavourable publicity and a fine of RM 10,000
Why did the Penang Gerakan leaders ( such as MPPP President Tan Gim Hwa and Datuk Lim Ee Hoong ) sell Hotel Metropole Sdn Bhd to national Gerakan leaders like Datul Soong Siew Hoong and Tan Sri Cahn Choong tat in the form of Cempaka Sdn Bhd which then sold Hotel Metropole to RM2 company , Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd.
Was the sale of Hotel Metropole Sdn Bhd to Cemoaka Sdn Bhd a genuine and bona fide sale or was it used to camonflage the Penang Gerakan leaders as the real sellers of the heritage building?
Why was there no reaction by MPPP for 10 days until January 3 to the ‘lighting demolition ‘ of Hotel Metropole? What was the MPPP President , Datuk Tan Gim Hwa , and all the MPPP councillors doing in these 10 days?
Who took the decision – and when – to serve Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd with the notice under Section 27 of the country and Planning act 1976 to restore and rebuild Hotel Metropole in Six months?
Could a hundred – year – old building be stored in six month after it had been demolished ? Has the MPPP the original building plans or scale drawing of Hotel Metropolr ? What other avenues are available if the notice to rebuild Hotel Metropole in six month is ignored?
Is the Six month notice by MPPP to rebuild Hotel Metropole proper and adequate , or is it just to allow MPPP President the opportunity to buy six months ‘time in the hope that by then the public controversy would have blown over or cease to have the present degree of public concern?
These are the matters which the Penang Chief Minister should satisfy himself immediately following the demolition of Hotel Metropole , instead of giving public support to what is evidently a ridiculous proposal by Tan Gim Hwa that the owner rebuild Hotel Metropole in six months.
The six month rebuild notice by Tan Gim Hwa is ridiculous and insincere as the new owners would prefer to pay RM10,000 fine instead of spending RM1 or Rm 2 million to get experts to restore Hotel Metropole
Firstly , how could a hundres – year –old historic building be rebuilt , when there is no original building plan , no scale drawing , together with problems about actual building materials of the past?
Secondly , what is the penalty for the refusal by Dolphin square Sdn Bhd to rebuild Hotel Metropole in six months ? A fine of Rm 10,000?
It ight cost RM1 or RM2 million to get experts to rebuild and restire Hotel Metropole which could approximate as much as possible to the original Nave Scotia built at the turn of Metropole property spent so much monet , when he had only to pay a RM 10,000 fine for failure to comply with the MPPP notice?
This shows how ridiculous and insincere is the demand by Tan Gim Hwa that Hotel Metropolr be restored in six months.
Tsu Koon should explain what the state Governmant proposes to do if Hotel Metropole is not restored in six months?
I call onw Tsu Koon to explain what the State Government proposes to do if Hotel Metropole is not restored in six months by the new owners/
Will the State Government direct the MPPP to restore and rebuild Hotel Metropole and charge the costs to the new owners?
Will the State Government direct the MPPP impose a 20 year freeze on all future development on the hotel Metropole property as punishment for the sacrilege against Penang heritage tradition , cultural and history in demolishing Hotel Metropole and as a deterrent to other owners heritage buildings?
If Dr. Koh Tsu Koon can sweep streets on Penang Island on ‘Keep island clean ‘campaigns , he can not pretend ha has no responsibility over the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
The Hotel Metropole demolition scandal is another test –case credibility and authority of Tsu Koon as chief Minister , whether he dares to assert his authority over the MPPP Presient although Tan Gim Hwa id superior to him in Gerakan.
If Tsu Koon had authority over than MPPP , including the MPPP President , then he should not hesitate and instivite full0scale and wide ranging Public Inquiry into the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal – and to determine whether Gerakan leaders and MPPP councillors ,in particular the MPPP President , had played a part in the demolition of Hotel Metropole.