By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, January 17th, 1994:
Challenge to Gim Hwa to institute legal Proceedings id he believes that I had defamed him on the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal
My attention has been drawn to an English newspaper report last Saturday where the MPPP President , Dtaulk Tan Gim Hwa was reported as saying that he was contemplating legal action against me regarding the recent demolition of Hotel Metrepole.
I challenge Gim Hwa to institute legal proceedings against me for defamation if he believes that I had defamed him on the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
Tan GIm Hwa claimed that I had told ‘ two lies’ about him in connection with the Hotel Metropole scandal and this had also been used as the basis for the 10,000 undly , inauspicious , black and white Gerakan poster campaign against the DAP a few days ago.
The two lies referred to by Gim Hwa:
That I had acussed him of ordering the demolition of hOtel Metropole ; and
That I had accused him of surreptitiously removing Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings for Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah
In the first place , I had ever said that Tan Gim Hwa had personally orderws the demolition of Hotel Metropole .It is clear about that Gim Hwa and Penang Gerakan are so desperate about adverse public opinion in Penang agasint them for the Hotel Metropole scandal that they have to invent things that I had never said and then they lauch a campaign based on such Gerakan Inventions . This is political bankruptcy of the first order.
Although I had not accused Gim Hwa of personally ordering the demolition of Hotel Metropole , I hold him responsible for the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal not only because he is the MPPP president whose duty is to ensure that heritage buildfings are not demolished , but because he was former owner of Hotel Metropole , and the series of transaction involving the sale of Hotel Metrople Sdn . Bhd by peneng Gerakan leaders to national Gerakan Leadeers in Cempaka . Sdn Bhd and the subsequent sale of Hotel Metrpole to the RM 2 company , Dolhin Sdn Bhd.
Tan Gim Hwa cannot shirk his political , moral and official responsibility for the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal , and this is why DAP demands for a full Public Inquiry into the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal , going back to the series of transactions of the property after Gim Hwa became MPPP President , the MPPP decision of October 28 last year and tn particular, why anyone would want to pay more than three times the market price for a heritage building knowing that it could not be demolished.
As for the scond lie , I stand by my accusation that Gim Hwa had surreptitiously removed Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings for Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, without public consultation of notice.
My witness is none other than mPPP councilor Dr. Goh Ban Lee who had publicy admitted that on October 28 last year , the MPPP removed Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings , which disallowed any demolition , alternation or extension , and place in a new Category 2 list with four other bilidngs without public notice or consultation beforehand.
The new Category 2 list for the heritage buildings at Jalan Sutan Ahmad Shah allows Hotel Metropole and the other four buildings to be demolished , provided the façade of the building is persevred .
If this is not a surreptitious removal of Hotel Metropole from 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings where no demolition , alternation or extension is allowed , then Gim Hwa give a better explanation as to the meaning of putting Hotel Metrpole on Category 2 List?
IS tan Gim Hwa claming that Hotel Metropole is still on the 1989 MPPP list of 20 hertage buildings and that as far as he and the mPP are concerned , the heritage status of hOtel Metropole had remained unchanged as it was in 1989 in that it could not be demolished in whole or in part?
If Tan Gim Hwa insists that Hotel Metropole had not been removed from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings , I challenge him to make public the entire minutes of the MPPP council meeting of Oct 28 so that the people can see for themselves what decision the MPPP took on the heritage status of Hotel Metropole .
Tan Gim Ha should also explain why he acted completely against the democratic principle of accountability and transparency in not giving prior public notice to allow for public views on his intention to remove Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings , and put it in a new category 2 list , which would allow Hotel Metropole to be demolished except for the preservation of its façade?