Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Georgetown on Wednesday, 1st July 2009:
If the Tang Hak Ju land scam involving undeveloped quarry land for a period of 15 years may finally cost the state government RM 40 million (RM 29 million + interest), forcible acquisition of Kampung Buah Pala involving developed land would be of a frightening magnitude
The Penang state government wishes to rebut the lies of Hindraf leaders and collaborators of BN and MIC who claims that acquiring Kampung Buah Pala would cost at the most RM 30 million or even very much less. Where is it stated in the land acquisition laws or approved by the courts that government can acquire land for the public interest at a sum far below the market price?
If the Tang Hak Ju land scam involving undeveloped quarry land for a period of 15 years may finally cost the state government RM 40 million (RM 29 Million + interest), forcible acquisition of Kampung Buah Pala involving developed land would be of a frightening magnitude. The Penang state government simply does not have the financial capability to afford the acquisition of Kampung Buah Pala. We are not talking of millions of ringgit. Neither are we talking of tens of millions of ringgit here!
Any lawyer or even law student knows this. Clearly these Hindraf leaders and BN collaborators are trying to spin a web of deceit and deception to paint the Penang state government as uncaring of Indians. Hindraf may deceive those from outside Penang but those in Penang knows our achievements that we have taken a different path of looking not only after Indians but also after Malays and Chinese as well.
Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government fights for all races and will never become a single racial or religious entity.
As with all communities, we have given dignity and respect to ordinary Indians. The first Indian Deputy Chief Minister II of a state in Malaysia was appointed in Penang, all the 28 Tamil primary schools were given a yearly allocation of RM 1.5 million along with other Chinese primary, Sekolah Agama Rakyat, missionary schools and Chinese independent secondary schools. Further, Penang put up the FIRST Tamil road signs in the country alongside with Arabic, Chinese and English bilingual road signs in Georgetown. Even Hindraf had never raised the issue of Tamil road signs.
Hindraf and the BN collaborators must see that the Pakatan Rakyat Penang state government treats all Indians together with Chinese and Malays as Malaysian citizens who desire justice and detest corruption. Unlike Hindraf and the BN collaborators, we fight for all races and religions and will never become a single racial and religious entity.
Hindraf should not stray from its chosen path of defending the victim against the bully or fighting those who are helping the victims. Many Malaysians whether Indians or non-Indians are upset that Hindraf has chosen to pick on the Penang state government instead of the real culprits who sold out Kampung Buah Pala – BN and Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
Lest we forget, it was Koh Tsu Koon and BN that sold out Kampung Buah Pala at a cheap price of only RM 10 per square feet in 2007 and without consulting the residents. Why has Hindraf lost the courage to oppose the real culprits?Regrets unruly behaviour of Hindraf demonstrators
However despite regretting the irrational and unjustified targeting of the Penang state government, Hindraf leaders have the right to exercise the basic human rights of peaceful assembly. I have instructed my officials to respect their rights, accord them full respect and accept any memorandum submitted.
I had also urged the police not to take any action that would lead to untoward incidents. Instructions have also being given that should the police chose to act, then the demonstrators should be led to a place safe from police action in the air-conditioned Komtar government auditorium on the 5th floor. This gesture should serve as a contrast to a BN government that would never have invited demonstrators to the air-conditioned Komtar government auditorium in the 5th floor but would have used violent force instead to disperse them.
The Pakatan Rakyat Penang State government’s restraint against Hindraf demonstrators yesterday at Komtar despite extreme provocation demonstrates our commitment not only to help Kampung Buah Pala residents but also in upholding the fundamental right of freedom of peaceful assembly.
I feel sad at the unruly behaviour of those present who called my political secretary and ADUN Komtar Ng Wei Aik “an office boy”. Or even asking for two graves of 2X6 and 4X6 to be dug for Sri Delima ADUN Rayer and Penang DCM2 Professor Ramasamy.
Pressure the Federal Government and Dr Koh Tsu Koon to correct their grievous mistake by acquiring Kampung Buah Pala.
Despite such consideration on our part for their safety, there were calls by demonstrators inside the air-conditioned Komtar government auditorium that they would vote for BN and against Pakatan Rakyat in the next general elections. It is clear that Hindraf has been infiltrated by BN and MIC collaborators and should return to its original goal of fighting BN who have shown in Kampung Buah Pala as in countless cases of selling out the people’s rights.
Hindraf can start off this process by pressuring the Federal government and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to correct their past grievous mistake by acquiring Kampung Buah Pala and returning back the land to the people. What the state government can not afford financially is definitely within the means of the Federal government!
* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General & Penang Chief Minister; Member of Parliament for Bagan