Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Dap Secretary- General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang , the DAP Tanjong 3 committee held on Tuesday , January 25, 1993 at 8pm.
The 12th term of reference for the Public Inquiry into the Hotel Metropole scandals of the MPPP
DAP had called for a public Inquiry into the Hotel Metropole scandals of the MPPP , and spell out eleven terms of reference for the Public Inquiry Commission to investigate and report to the people of Penang.
These eleven terms of reference covered both the Hotel Metropole Demolition Scandal and the Hotel Metropole Restoration Scandal – why a RM2 Company Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd would pay three times the market price at RM9.5million for a heritage building Hotel Metropole which could not be demolishing and redeveloped , and the true background and status of the sale transactions of Hotel Metropole in 1992 and 1993.
There is a twellth term of reference for the Public Commission of Inquiry into the Hotel Metropole scandals , which is to investigate why the MPPP had been so king to the intractions of Municipal laws and regulations by Hotel Metropole during the period when it was known as ‘Hotel Gerakan’ and was owned by Penang Gerakan leaders.
In his press conference on 17th January 1994 , MPPP President , Datuk Tan Gim Hwa had admitted that in 1988 , the MPPP issued a notice to the owners of Hotel Metropole to stop work when major alterations and additions were being made to the main building and to the single-storey annexe or outhouse to convert it into a nightclub and karaoke lounge.
In 1989 , stop-work notices were again by the MPPP on the owner when further alterations and additions were made to the building.
Although a plan was submitted to regularize the illegal alternations and additions to the Hotel Metropole , it was subsequently withdrawn by the consultant and architect due to technical reasons. However the alterations had already been carried out.
From the above , it is clear that the Penang Gerakan leaders who were the owners in 1988 and 1989 had turned the hundred-year-old Hotel Metropole into a nightclub and karaoke lounge without MPPP approval.
The Public Inquiry Commission should investigate whether the Penang Gerakan leaders-owners had defied the MPPP and violated the Municipal laws and regulation because they believed that their political positions allowed them to get away with whatever they wanted to do- and that at most , there would be the force of notices and summons from the MPPP , which could be dragged out indefinitely.
As Tan Gim Hwa and Lim Ee Hoong were among the Gerakan leaders who were owners at Hotel Metropole , they should be summoned by the Public Inquiry Commission into the Hotel Metropole scandals at MPPP to testify as to their roles since 1989 in the carrying out illegal alterations and additions to the building.
Such illegal alterations and additions to Hotel Metropole by the Gerakan leader-owners become even more serious when it is borne in mind that in 1989 , the MPPP classified Hotel Metropole as one of the 20 heritage buildings at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah which should be conserved and where demolition , alteration and extension was not permitted.
It would appear therefore that the heritage status of the Hotel Metropole had already been violated once in 1989 by its Gerakan leaders-owners even before it was fully violated on Christmas Day last month with its total demolition.
This is why there should be the twenth term of reference of the Public Inquiry Commission into the Hotel Metropole scandals of the MPPP.
It Tsu Koon and Gim Hwa dare not accept DAP challenge to Public Debate on February 1 , it means they dare not face not only DAP but also the people of Penang on the Hotel Metropole and Taman Midlands Scandals.
I doubt that Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Tsu Koon and Gim Hwa dare not accept DAP challenge to Public Debate on February 1 , it means they dare not face not only DAP but also the people of Penang on the Hotel Metropole and Taman Midlands Scandals.
Both of them , for instance , would not be able to give satisfactory and acceptable explanations with regard to the twelve terms of reference which DAP had suggested for a Public Inquiry Commission for the Hotel Metropole Scandals.
However , both Tsu Koon and gim Hwa should realize that if they dare not accept the DAP challenge to a public debate on the Hotel Metropole and Taman Midlands scandals , it means that on these two issues , they not only dare not face the DAP but they dare not face the people of Penang.
I would expect Penang Gerakan leaders to use all sorts of diversionary tactics to distract the people from the fact that Tsu Koon and Gim Hwa dare not accept the DAP challenge to a Public debate , as getting minor functionaries or nameless committee to issue all sorts of nonsensical statements.
The Penang DAP should ignore all these nonsensical statements by Gerakan minor functionaries or nameless committees , for we are interested in issues which affect the people and state of Penang and not wild and baseless personal attacks.
The new MPPP should reseind the MPPP decision on December 9 , 1993 to close Lorong Reutens as proposed by the Taman Midlands “ one – stop – centre’ Project
The MPPP council at its meeting on December 9, 1993 approved the recommendation of the MPPP Intrastructure and Works Committee to close Lorong Reutens as proposed by the Taman Midlands ‘ one – stop – centre’ project.
The MPPP Intrastructure and works committee decided to make this recommendation at its meeting on 24 th November 1993 – following the submission of application of planning approvals by Pangkal Permata (M) Sdn Bhd on November 1 , 1993.
The dates are an indication of the speed with which the planning applications by Pangkal Permata (M) sdn Bhd for the Taman Midlands ‘one – stop – centre’ project were processed by the MPPP as compared to all other planning application approvals.
Tan Gim Hwa should explain why the MPPP full council decided to close Lorong Reutens , which is a major link-road between Burman Road and Persiaran Midlands , and an important link with the Adventist Hospital , without any prior consultation with the affected resigents.
Is this now the dominated MPPP led by Gim Hwa understand by democratic public participation in local government affairs?
In the last quarter 1993 , the MPPP had made several questions which are most unjustiliable in terms of democracy public accountability and transparency and transparency and these include :
The decision on Oct 28 to surreptitiously remove Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage Buildings by placing it in a new Category 2 list ;
The award of the 99-year to Pangkal Permata (M) Sdn Bhd for the Taman Midlands one-stop – Centre Project ;and
The MPPP full council decision on 9 th December 1993 to close Lorong Reuties as requested by Pangkal Permata (M) Sdn Bhd without any prior consultation with the allected residents.
The MPPP Councillors appointed for this year have not had their first working meeting although they have already taken their bath of office.
They should rescind the MPPP decisions last year so as to firstly , suspend the October 28 decision to remove Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP list of 20 heritage Buildings for Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and secondly , to preserve Lorong Reutens.
Furthermore , the new MPPP council should ensure that no approval be given to the planning applications by Pangkal Permata (M) Sdn Bhd for the Taman Midlands One Stop Centre Project until the planning applications are put on display for a month to allow the affected residents and the public the opportunity to make informed representations.