by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, February 3, 1994:
Gim Hwa has been most shameless in making claims for himself on the Hotel Metropole scandal, but he dare not accept a Public Debate with DAP because he knows that these claims would be publicly torn into shreds.
MPPP President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa has been most shameless in his statement yesterday which made ‘claims’ about the Hotel Metropole scandal which he knows cannot stand up to any public examination.
This is the real reason why Gim Hwa dare not accept a Public Debate with the DAP on the Hotel Metropole scandal because he knows that his ‘claims’ would be publicly torn into shreds by the DAP at such a Public Debate.
At least, Gim Hwa is feeling the pressure from the DAP Political Ceramah at the Penang Chinese Town Hall on Tuesday night, as the huge crowd and support is a clear indication of public rejection of his explanations about the Hotel Metropole, Taman Midlands, Relau Indoor Stadium and other MPPP scandals.
In his latest statement, Gim Hwa not only repeated an old lie, but has told a new lie.
His old lie is his denial that he had on October 28, 1993 surreptiously removed Hotel Metropole from the 1989 MPPP List of 20 Heritage Buildings along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah where there could no demolition and placed it in a new Category 2 where demolition of the building is allowed provided the façade is maintained. Gim Hwa is trying to deny the undeniable, when he claimed that there was no 1989 MPPP List of Heritage Buildings which included Hotel Metropole.
His new lie is that if he had not become MPPP President and placed Hotel Metropole in Category 2, Hotel Metropole could be demolished completely without regard to heritage conservation.
This is the purpose of his mentioning that in1985, the MPPP had approved the complete demolition of Hotel Metropole to make way for a new 14-storey hotel with 183 rooms. Wasn’t Tan Gim Hwa a director and shareholder of Hotel Metropole at that time?
Although Gim Hwa’s statement is meant as a reply to my speech at the DAP Political Ceramah on Tuesday night, it is significant that he had failed to answer the many big issue I had raised about the Hotel Metropole scandals – whether on the events before the December 25 demolition last year or after the demolition.
Did Gim Hwa shut down the entire MPPP for one whole week from Christmas Day last year when Hotel Metropole demolition started so that nobody could do anything to stop the demolition?
For instance, can Gim Hwa explain why for over a week that it took the Hotel Metropole demolition to be completed, he and the entire MPPP did not ‘lift a finger’ to stop the desecration of the heritage, tradition, culture and history of Penang?
It reflects badly on the competence of Gim Hwa and the MPPP that it could allow Hotel Metropole to be demolished for over a week without doing anything to stop it.
Did Tan Gim Hwa shut down the entire MPPP for one whole week from Christmas Day when Hotel Metropole demolition started and all the MPPP Councillors and staffs were on leave outside Penang during this whole period?
In fact, did Gim Hwa also shut down the Chief Minister’s Office for one whole week as well, as Tsu Koon did not respond to my call to him on December 30 to direct the MPPP President to order an immediate halt to the demolition!
Gim Hwa has also failed to answer the question about the Taman Midlands and Relau Indoor Stadium scandals.
This is a very poor show. The Hotel Metropole, Taman Midlands, Relau Indoor Stadium and other MPPP scandals have created a crisis of credibility and legitimacy of Gim Hwa as MPPP President as well as the whole MPPP Council.