By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, January 18th, 1994:
On top of the Hotel metropole Demolition scandal , there is now a Hotel Metropole restoration scandal , where the MPPP order to rebuild the entire building in six months has been changed to rebuilding its façade only
The latest press conference yesterday by the MPPP President , Datuk Tan Gim Hwa on the hotel Metropole demolition scandal is proof that the Penang Gerakan leadership has become very panicky about the DA excuse of the various MPPP and State Government scandals, and in particular the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal , as they have hit very soft spots of the Gerakan leaders.
This is why the Penang Gerakan had launched five strategies to try to destract and drown out the DAP expose of the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
Five strategies of Penang Gerakan To distract and drown out the DAP ‘s expose of the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal which has hit very soft spots of the Gerakan leaders
These five Gerakan strategies are:
(1) The Gerakan campaign of poster lies in putting up 10000 ugly , inauspicious , black and white posters accusing the DAP of telling lies ;
(2) Getting a whole line- up of Gerakan leaders big and small to launch daily attacks on the DAP in relay;
(3) Raising all sorts of extraneous , irrelevant and even fictitious issues and accusation – including personal attacks against DAP leaders – to entangle the DAP to distract public attention from the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal;
(4) Accusing the DAP of ‘politicising ‘ the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal ; and
(5) Evasion of full public accountability with regard to the circumstances leading to the Hotel Metropole demolition , in particular over the sale of the property by Gim Hwa and other Penang Gerakan leaders to national Gerakan leaders after he become MPPP president , and the subsequent sale to the RM 2 company , Dolohin Square Sdn . Bh for RM 9.5 million – three times its market price as a heritage building which could not be demolished . altered or extended.
Let me tell the Gerakan leaders ,including Dr Koh Tsu Koon , Dr. Kang Chin seng and Datuk Tan Gim Hwa who are behind this barrage of five-prong Gerakan campaign to try to district and drown out the DAP expose of Hotel Metropole demolition scandal , that the DAP will not allow the hotel Metropole demolition scandal to be distracted so easily.
The DAP is not interested in the various extraneous irrelevant and even fictitious issues by the raly of Penang Gerakan leaders , as what we want Tan Gim Hwa and Koh Tsu Koon to do is to give a full , proper and satisfactory accounting on the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
I believe that the people of Penang , who are very sophisticated politically , have already seen through the game being played by the Gerakan leaders even without the DAP pointing out their panicky five strategies to distract and drown out the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
In his press conference yesterday , Tan Gim Hwa still tried to argue the unarguable , trying to deny my allegation that in October last year he had surreptitiousky removed Hotel Metropole form the 1989 list of 20 heritage bulding for Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah which did not permit demolition , alternation or extension and placed in a new Category 2 list . In this new Category 2 list , a building is allowed to be demolished for redevelopment provided its façade is preserved.
I will tender a public apology to Gim hwa if he could pass a test of four questions on whether he had surreptitiously removed Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings
To simplify things for Gim Hwa , let me put this whole issue in four questions , and if he could give a ‘no’answer to anyone of the four questions , then he is innocent of the charge.
If he could pass this test and demonstrate that he had not surreptitiously removed Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage Buildings , I will tender my public apaolgy to Tan Gim Hwa. If Gim Ha has to give a ‘yes’ answer to all four question right , will Tan Gim Hwa tender a public apology to the people of Penang for not being frank , sincere and truthful with them?
The four question are:
1. Was there a 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings for Jalan sultan Ahmad Shah which prohibited demolition , alternation or extension?
2. was Hotel metropolr in this 1989 List of 20 heritage Builings?
3. Was hotel Metropolr removed from the 1989 Mppp List of 20 heritage Buildings by the MPPP in October last year and put on a new Category 2 list , which allowed it to be demolished and redeveloped provided the façade of its building is preserved?
4. Isn’t it true that there was no punlic notification or consultation whatsoever before Hotel Metropolr was removed from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings and placed on the new Category 2 list?
I challenge Tan Gim Hwa to give a ‘ no’ answer to anyone of these four question!
It is Gim Hwa who is telling a lie when he denied that Hotel Metropole had been removed from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings
Gim Hwa has to give a ‘yes ‘ answer to all four questions . This is the best proof that it is Gim Hwa who is telling a lie when he denied that Hotel Metropole had been removed from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings last October.
Gim hwa;s press conference yesterday is another exercise in quibbling , evasion and distraction about the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
For instance , Gim Hwa said I was wrong as Hotel Metropole was never included in Category 1 of the heritage buildings in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah in 1989.
I agree that in 1989 , the 20 heritage buildings at ‘ millionaires row’ was all in one list – and there was no category 1 or category 2 . It was only in October 28 last year that Tan Gim Hwa and the MPPP surreptitiously removed Hotel Metropole from 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings and put it a new Category 2 list.
When on such a straightforward issue , Gim Hwa could expend so much energy to quitable and mislead the people , it is no wonder that he is capable of even greater evasions and distractions on other aspects of the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
Is Gim Hwa suggesting that the DAP mastermined the demolition of Hotel Metropole so that we could politics the issue?
Tan Gim hwa yesterday repeated the allegation by Dr. Koh Tsu koon that the DAP was politicizing the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal.
This is nothing new . When the DAP had raised scandals involving Barisan Nasional leaders , whether the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal involing the MIC president, Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu , or the unsual wealth of the Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youthe leader , Tan Seri Rahim Tamby Cik , or the Cooperative Finance scandal involving MCA leaders the stock response from the affected Barisan Nasional parties or leaders was that the DAP was politicizing the issue.
Now , the Gerakan Leaders have joined the MIC , MCA and UMNO leaders in accusing the DAP for politicizing the hOtel Metropole demolition scandal.
From some of the statements made by Gerakan leaders , I must ask Gim Hwa whether he is suggesting that the DAP masterminded the lighting demolition of Hotel Metropole on Christmas Day so that wo could politicize the issue against the Gerakan in the same way that DAP Mp for Jelutong , Karpal Singh was at one time scandal of masterminding the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal to politicize the issue?
In claiming that any expose of government scandals by the DAP is merely politicizing an issue , Tsu Koon and Gim Hwa are in fact claiming that the people should accept and tolerate government scandals , whether involving corruption , criminal breach of trust , conflict of interest or abuses of power.
I leave it to people of Penang to decide whether they could accept this Gerakan position ,or whether they want the DAP to continue to uphold the public right to demand full accountability from the government for its various scandals.
Important core issues of the hotel metropole demolition scandal which Gim Hwa had not addressed in his press conference yesterday
In his press conference yesterday , Gim Hwa had failed to address the core issues of the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal. Why didn’t for instance , Tan Gim Hwa enlighten the people of Penang on the following questions:
What is the real nature of the sale of Hotel Metropole sdn. Bhd by Gim Hwa and other Penang Gerakan leaders to national leaders in Cempaka Sdn . Bhd after he became MPPP President?
When a few months later , Cempaka Sdn Bhd sold Hotel Meropole to the RM2 compant , Dolphin Square Sdn . Bhd for RM 9.5 million , who was the real seller?
Why did Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd pay three times the market price for Hotel Metropole as a heritage building which could not be demolished or developed or was there an understanding that the 100 year old hertage building could be demolished ?
Who are the real new owners of the Hotel Metropole property and what are their relationship with the Gerakan leaders?
In view of Tan Gim Hwa ‘s history of associations and connection with Hotel Metropole – including as director and part – owner when he became MPPP President ,was it proper that he be responsible for the removal of Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage buildings and placed on a new category 2 list?
However there is one other issue which Gim Hwa had not addressed , and that is apart from the Hotel Metropole Demolition Scandal , there is now the Hotel Metropole Restoration Scandal.
Ten days after daily pressure from the DAP for its inaction on the scandalous and outrageous Hotel Metropole demolition scandal , Gim Hwa told the people of Penang That the MPPP had orderd new owners to rebuild within six months the original building they had demolished or face severe legal action.
However , after another ten days, the people of Penang got another shcok when they learn from the Penang Chief Minister . Dr, Koh tsu Koon that the new owners need not rebuild the entire Hotel Metropole they had demolished on Christmas Day , but only the façade of the building.
The people of Penang are still waiting for full accounting from the State Government and the MPPP for two Hotel Metropole Scandals – the hotel Metropole demolition scandal on Christmas Day and now the Hotel Metropole restoration scandal of Dr. Koh Tsu Koon.