Tajol Rosli should accept with an open heart the BN defeat not only in Ipoh Timor but also in Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah and to respond positively to the strong protest votes against the high-handed or insensitive policies of Ipoh City Council and State Government in the past decade to make Ipoh and Kinta Valley great and exciting once again
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Saturday): In announcing yesterday that he would himself head the special committee to study the reasons for the Barisan Nasional defeat in the Kinta Valley in the March 21 general election, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali said:
"I can accept BN's defeat in Ipoh Timor because DAP national chairman Lim Kit Siang contested there but I cannot accept the loss in Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah. There must be something wrong why we lost in the Kinta Valley. The voters in Ipoh Timor wanted Kit Siang to be in Parliament but we should not have lost in Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah."
Tajol Rosli should accept with an open heart the BN defeat not only in Ipoh Timor but also in Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah and to respond positively, among other things, to the strong protest votes against the high-handed or insensitive development policies and measures of the Ipoh City Council and State Government in the past decade.
Tajol Rosli has said that the committee would take a re-look at the development plans in Kinta Valley and study the government's weaknesses with regard to the transportation system, market facilities and squatters' problem “for the comfort of Ipoh residents”.
This decision is most welcome and commendable. He should however not confine the composition of the committee to Perak BN component party leaders but should open its membership to representatives of the civil society, such as the Perak Chinese Chambers of Commerce, dislocated farmers and Taxi Drivers' Association, as well as invite representations and hold public hearings for any interested members of the public to come forward to give their views for the BN’s defeat in the three parliamentary seats in Kinta Valley.
If the committee headed by Tajol Rosli is to benefit the people of Ipoh and Kinta Valley, he should conduct a thoroughgoing review of the failures of government development policies in the past decade, starting by re-visiting the long-standing and unresolved controversy over the irregular and improper construction of the light industrial estate in the heart of massive housing estates in Ipoh Garden East, which is against all planning laws and industrial development guidelines.
Tajol Rosli should personally rectify the four-year failure of the Perak State Government and the Ipoh City Council to comply with his directive in August 2000 to demolish nine factory buildings in the light industrial estate as well as for Ipoh City Council to allocate RM100,000 to provide a children's playground and a landscaped garden to reduce the health, environment and safety hazards to the residents posed by the light industrial estate in their midst.
Tajol Rosli’s committee should also trawl the media, both printed and electronic, to study the views expressed about the lessons of the BN’s defeat in Ipoh Timor, Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah in the Kinta Valley.
For instance, in a letter to Malaysiakini by one Lim Beng Sun on April 1, the writer complained that “Over the years, the Ipoh City Council has become complacent and less effective in serving the people”. He has written an excellent overview of the plight and challenge of Ipoh, which should serve as basis for the Tajol Rosli committee to review development for Ipoh and Kinta Valley.
Lim Beng Sun wrote:
DAP is prepared to fully co-operate with Tajol Rosli, the Perak State Government and the Ipoh City Council to mobilize the efforts and participation of everyone to make Ipoh and Kinta Valley great and exciting once again.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor