Media statement by Penang Deputy State Secretary, Dato' Haji Muhammad Yusoff bin Wazir in Komtar, Georgetown on Wednesday, 11st August 2010:
Dato' Zainal Rahim bin Seman will review the new security procedures at KOMTAR 2nd floor VIP car park and whether it can ce relaxed without compromising safety and security
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is concerned by the incident of a KOMTAR trader Teoh Bak Seng, 53, who poured petrol on himself in front of MAYBANK yesterday afternoon. The Chief Minister is also deeply concerned for the health of Teoh who was admitted to Penang General Hospital. He has called the Penang Health Department Director to enquire and express his personal concern for Teoh's health.
The Penang government is willing to assist Teoh with his problems, including his unhappiness over the closure of five entrances to KOMTAR from the VIP car park. The Chief Minister has requested Penang State Secretary, Dato' Zainal Rahim Seman to review the new security procedures at KOMTAR 2nd Floor VIP Car Park to see whether it can be relaxed without compromising safety and security.
Following an incident at the VIP car park on August 2 2010 against the Chief Minister, the state government was advised by the Penang Chief Police Officer to tighten security procedures. New security procedures were imposed by the Penang State Secretary's Office after August 3 2010 where all five public entrances to the 2nd Floor VIP Car Park was closed.
These measures were supported by the Penang police(represented by an officer from Ibupejabat Polis Kontinjen Penang) and the Fire Services Department at a meeting on 9 August 2010 chaired by Penang Deputy Secretary Dato' Haji Muhammad Yusoff Bin Wazir. During the meeting the Fire Services Department said that the 5 entrances closed were not emergency exits and therefore had no objections to its closure. The two representatives of the KOMTAR Merchant Association present at the meeting were unhappy with the new security arrangements.
The State Secretary's Office understands the unhappiness of KOMTAR traders at the new security arrangements at the inconvenience caused. However consideration has to be given to negative comments by government officers and visitors about unknown and unidentified persons and foreign workers moving about freely in the VIP Car Park.
The state government has also worked hard to revive KOMTAR since coming to power on March 2008. First, the decision to relocate and move the administration offices out of KOMTAR was aborted. Second the state government was successful in attracting new anchor tenants in the Pacific supermarket and the ICT Mall, Penang's first one-stop centre for computers and electronic equipment set to open in October 2010. These measures have helped to bring back both life and the crowd to KOMTAR and improved business for all in KOMTAR.
The review by Dato Zainal will also cover complaints by some KOMTAR traders that the closure of the 5 entrance doors has affected business and if true how that can be alleviated. After conducting his review, Dato Zainal will submit and discuss his findings with the Chief Minister. All affected parties will be consulted including police, Fire Services Department, KOMTAR traders and Teoh after his discharge from hospital.
* Dato' Haji Muhammad Yusoff bin Wazir, Penang Deputy State Secretary