BN and Gerakan, especially Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, must show proof or stop their shocking lies that the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government finalised the village land deal and sold Kampung Buah Pala to Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang(Koperasi). No amount of false reports by their “character assassins” will convince Penangnites that BN and Gerakan government did not robbed the Kampung Buah Pala residents of their land.
The declassification of EXCO minutes on 9.7.2009 shows that the BN state government under Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon were principally culpable for alienating their land twice to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang in EXCO meetings on 18.8.2004 and 8.6.2005 without consulting the residents. The land was alienated by BN at a ridiculously low land premium of RM 10 per square feet (when the market rate then was at least RM 50 psf) with unanimous support from all MCA, Gerakan, UMNO and MIC state EXCO members including Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan.
Dr Teng has never repented and apologised for his part and Gerakan or BN’s role in selling out the Kampung Buah Pala residents of their land to the Koperasi at such cheap rates and without consulting them. And he is now blaming the PR state government for robbing the Kampung Buah Pala residents of their lands, a classic case of “the thief shouting thief”.
After losing their land which was “robbed” from them by BN, the BN land robbers treated them as illegal squatters with no rights to own their land. The EXCO minutes showed that BN had offered a RM 75,000 flat unit to Kampung Buah Pala residents. (see chronology attached)
Unlike BN’s harsh treatment of the Kampung Buah Pala residents as illegal squatters, the PR state government treated the residents as landowners who were allowed to stay by the original British landlord nearly 150 years ago. The PR state government worked hard to compel the developer to offer a double-storey terrace house with 99 years lease to the residents worth RM 600,000. This successful compensation by the PR state government to gain recognition for Kampung Buah Pala residents to remain as legal rightful landowners and not as illegal squatters to be given a RM 75,000 flat unit which is widely recognised as the best in Malaysian history.
Once the decision of the BN state EXCO has been conveyed by approval letters for land alienation and development orders sent out to Koperasi and the developer, the state government is legally bound. There is nothing the new PR government can do as it is bound by the decisions approved by BN. This was also affirmed by the Federal Court decision. The order for eviction and demolition was issued to the developer and not initiated by the state government.
BN is challenged to deny the fact that they had issued numerous letters of eviction to the residents when they were in power. In contrast, the new PR state government had never issued a single letters of eviction to the residents of Kampung Buah Pala. Similarly until now BN or Datuk Dr Teng can not show proof that I had promised that I would return the land back to the Kampung Buah Pala residents during the general elections as I did not even campaign there.
If BN And Gerakan Are So “Innocent” Of Their Guilt In Robbing Kampung Buah Pala Residents Of Their Land, Why Is It That Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon Dare Not Take Up His Own Challenge Of An Open Public Debate With Me On National Television?
It is dishonest for Dr Teng Hock Nan to say that the previous Gerakan-led state government did not finalise the sales and purchase agreement on the land deal signed with the cooperative. The EXCO minutes, the video clip of then Deputy Penang Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah witnessing the signing ceremony with the developer, and the letters by the Pejabat Tanah & Galian to the developer on 2007 proves Dr Teng wrong.
BN and Gerakan was wiped out in the 2008 general elections because of their refusal to honour their promises and failed governance that bred inefficiency, cronyism and corruption. This has proven costly to the people of Penang who face losses of hundreds of millions of ringgit in land scams and sweetheart contracts that benefit the few at the expense of Penangnites.
There should be honour in defeat and clearly Gerakan has lost all dignity and honour. They have restored close relations with UMNO even though UMNO has still not apologised for their humiliation of Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon by tearing up his official portrait. Worse, Gerakan dared not even criticise UMNO former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmy Yahya for his recent public statement that Koh Tsu Koon be replaced as Penang BN Chairman. How can Gerakan defend the rights, freedoms, honour and dignity of the people if they can not defend their own integrity?
Even though the land was transferred by the present government on 27 March 2008, I was advised by the State Legal Advisor and also DAP National Chair and MP for Bukit Glugor Karpal Singh that the Pakatan Rakyat state government was powerless to legally stop this as this was a consequential administrative action following the approvals given by the previous BN administration. This is just like the Jelutong Expressway concession agreement. The state government is bound to allow land reclamation and issuance of land title based on the previous BN government approvals.
Similarly, when the BN state government approved a 12-story hotel for Boustead in the Georgetown core heritage area breaking their promised 5 storey height limit to UNESCO, the developer has a right to and is demanding compensation to return to the 5-storey height limit. Will Gerakan or BN or Dr Teng pay the compensation for the wrong decisions they have made?
The only solution to saving Kampung Buah Pala is to forcibly acquire the land. However this would cost the state more than RM 100 million, a sum 1.5 million Penangnites can not afford for 24 houses in Kampung Buah Pala. Unless of course Dr Teng can write the cheque for the acquisition to redeem and atone for BN’s mistake, which he has still not done so.
In fact, the PR state government has done well to improve the offer from a RM 75,000 flat to a RM 600,000 double-storey landed property worth RM 600,000. If BN and Gerakan are so “innocent” of their guilt in robbing Kampung Buah Pala residents of their land, why is it that Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon dare not take up his own challenge of an open public debate with me on national television?