By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Saturday , January 22th, 1994:
Did the new owners of Hotel Metropole submit an appeal to rebuild only the façade and not the entire building, and if not why was the MPPP order to rebuild the entire Hotel Metropole in six months transformed in nine short days into an order to merely rebuild its façade.
In the past one month, three questions are uppermost in the minds of the people of Penang about the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal . They are:
Why did the real owners of the RM 2 company Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd pay RM 9.5 million for Hotel Metropole – which was three times its market price as a heritage building – knowing that it could not be demolished for development;
Were penang Gerakan leaders involved in the hotel Metropole Sale and Demolition Scandal; and
How was the MPPP order to the new owners to rebuild the entire Hotel Metropole in six months transformed in a matter of nine days into an order to rebuild merely the façade of the building ?
The transformation of the MPPP order in nine short days from the rebuilding and restoring the Hotel Metropole in its entirely to rebuilding only its façade is all the more extraordinary when, as far as is known , Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd had not submitted any appeal to the MPPP for such a variation.
Did the real owners of RM 2 company , Dolphin square Sdn Bhd appeal to the penang Gerakan leaders for the variation of the MPPP orser to transform it from rebuilding the Hotel Metropole in its entirety in six months into rebuilding merely its façade?
In this conncetion , the Penang Gerakan leaders should one by one publicly declare whether they have held discussions with the real owners of Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd since December 25 last year on the issues of Hotel Metropole and its demolition , and the Penang Gerakan leaders who have held such discussions should give the dates and details of such meetings and discussions.
It is clear that the swift transformations of the MPPP order from rebuilding the Hotel Metropole in its entirely to rebuilding merely its façade has also caught some of the Gerakan Exco members by surprise.
Twelve days ago ,Penang State Exco member, Dr, Kang Chin Seng was in Seremban and he rebutted my open questioning as to how the hundred – year – old Hotel Metropole could be rebuilt in six months without the original building plan or scale drawings.
Kang Chin Seng also said that time that although there is no original building plan for the demolished Hotel Metropole , it cannot be claimed that it could not be restored to its original condition. He said that restoration could be done based on photographs , visual and oral history.
Now, the people of Penang are suddenly told that the penang Gerakan leaders are not interested in the entire building being rebuilt , but only in its façade being rebuilt ! this is the Gerakan policy of ‘ facadism’ at work!
This must the first case of its kind , not only in Penang or Malaysia , but a world record of sorts , where the government authority concerned transformed its own directive to owners to rebuild a heritage building which had been illegally demolished into an order to rebuild merely its façade – without any official appeal from the owners themselves!
On January 68 I had suggested ten terms of reference for a Public Inquiry commission into the Hotel Metropole Demolition Scandal how Such a public Inquiry would have additional terms of reference , including investigating into the second Hotel Metropole scandal – the Hotel Metropole Restoration Scandal.