Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and HP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP Tanjong 3 Committee meeting held at Penang DAP Hqrs on Friday, 25th February 1994 at 8 pm
Tsu Koon is losing more and more grip over both the Penang State Government as well as the MPPP although he is in name the Penang Chief Minister
Dr. Koh Tsu Koon is losing more and more grip over both the Penang State Government as well as the MPPP although he is in name the Penang Chief Minister.
Three recent incidents illustrate that Penang has a Chief Minister who has the name but not the powers of the office.
Firstly, it is unthinkable that the only Chinese Chief Minister in the country dare not respond to the DAP call for the Penang State Government to emulate the PBS State Government to make annual financial allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang.
BAP has given notice that Penang DAP Assemblymen will move a motion in the next State Assembly to require the State Government to make annual financial allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, and it will be another supreme test, for Tsu Koon as Penang Chief Minister.
He failed such a test once when the DAP Assemblyman for Berapit, Sdr, Wong Hang Yoke, moved such a motion in the December 1990 State Assembly meeting. We hope that Tsu Koon would not fail such a test a second time.
Secondly, it is shocking that the Chief Minister is completely helpless in the Hotel Metropole demolition scandal, especially after former MPPP conservation consultant, Alexander Koenig, had publicly revealed recently that urban conservation efforts in Penang had been obstructed and sabotaged by Gerakan leaders and councillors who teamed up with rich landowners.
Alexander Koenig said that in 1928, German conservation experts helped MPPP to prepare heritage inventories in which 36 buildings along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah were identified for conservation. However, only 12 heritage buildings remain on the list today.
Alexander Koenig was also of the view that the decision of the MPPP in October 1993 to draw up a new Category TWO Conservation List, on which Hotel Metropole was placed two months before its demolition, did not advance the cause of conservation of heritage buildings in Penang.
After Alexander Koenig’s shocking statement about the MPPP’s deplorable attitude toward conservation, an effective and conscientious Chief Minister would have intervened and require the MPPP to give a full report on what it was doing about conser¬vation of heritage buildings – but not Dr. Koh Tsu Koon.
Tan Gim Hwa – “the Destroyer of Gurney Drive’
The third example is the impotence of Dr. Koh Tsu Koon at the MPPP’s defiance of the Penang Island Structure Plan which identified. Gurnev Drive as a recreation centre to improve and enhance its facilities.
It has just been discovered that the MPPP under Datuk Tan Gim Hwa has given planning approval for a 36-storey exclusive condominium project known as SILVERTON in the middle of Gurney Drive which will destroy Gurney Drive as a recreation site.
This is because the SILVERTON project would herald the construction of other high-rise buildings along Gurney Drive which will, destroy its beachfront for the public and turn it into a concrete jungle instead.
After the series of other MPPP scandals like the Hotel Metropole, Taman Midlands and. Relau Indoor Stadium scandals, Gim Hwa is in the centre of another MPPP scandal – and he will soon earn another reputation as ‘Destroyer of Gurney Drive’.
An effective and conscientious Chief Minister of Penang would again have intervened to save Gurney Drive and pre¬serve its beachfront, skyscape and environment for the recreation of ordinary people of Penang instead of destroying this recrea¬tion site and turn it into an exclusive spot for the multi-mil¬lionaires and billionaires.