The PR Penang State Government Had Ignored The Protests Of Developers By Deciding On A More People-Centric Approach In Refusing To Give Any Development Orders Where There Are Squatters Still Residing On The Land.(en/cn)

Column By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 15.10.2014.

UMNO and BN spinmasters must be lauded for excellent performance that they finally ensnared a Member of Parliament into believing their lies, until the UMNO MP for Padang Besar Zahidi Zainul Abidin used this as fodder to attack PR. Zahidi thought he had exposed a big scandal of PR top leaders, by raising in the august halls of Parliament on Monday, to accuse me directly for using public funds in Penang to purchase a RM2.3 million luxury sports utility armoured vehicle.

This is simply another malicious lie that is circulated widely in pro-UMNO blogs, amongst many other lies aginst me. Clearly Zahidi is a foolish victim of UMNO’s cunning use of the dirty tactic of “repeating a lie 1,000 times until it becomes the truth”. And there will be more lies against PR leaders, because there are many who are as silly as Zahidi, in believing the lies by pro-UMNO blogs.

Whilst many of these lies are malicious, some are downright evil and vicious by even attacking my underaged son, for sexually molesting his female classmate. Even though this attack against my underaged son was proven by the police to be false, no action was taken against the perpretators by the police as promised.

However I am more concerned that even academic and social commentators are also caught in the web of deceit weaved by the UMNO and BN masters of spin. For instance some had questioned the Penang PR state government for its inaction against developers who act or evict residents of communities and even equating this to the state government being pro-developer.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The PR Penang state government had adopted a major policy shift by departing from the previous BN government’s policy of approving development orders to developers even though there are squatters still residing on the land. Armed with the development orders, some developers then moved in ruthlessly and mercilessly to forcibly remove the squatters.

Instead the PR Penang state government had ignored the protests of developers by deciding on a more people-centric approach in refusing to give any development orders where there are squatters still residing on the land. Development orders will only be considered on land that is empty. This has generally facilitated discussions between developers and squatters to find an amicable solution that is fair and reasonable to both parties.

However, confrontation arises when the landowner, usually those with close links to BN, insists on evicting squatters through the court process by relying on their rights as landowners under the National Land Code. These landowners are not bothered that they have no development orders or will not get approval for any construction projects from the state authorities – they just want to exercise their powers in court to remove squatters. The state government is powerless when the landowner, armed with a court order, forcibly evicts squatters because the PR state government is bound to respect and obey the rule of law.

And yet the state government is always blamed despite helping the squatters with legal aid. The state government continues to be blamed even when the eviction of squatters is carried out by federal government agencies or those linked to BN leaders.

This is the best of both worlds to these pro-BN landowners and developers. They succeed in evicting the squatters at no cost to themselves because they can shift the blame to the PR Penang state government for failing to prevent the eviction. The state government will continue to be unfairly targeted for approving projects for developers although we have gone to great lengths to protect the squatters by being transparent and balance the various competing interests involved.

We hope that the people can see through the web of deceit, and that the state government is just a victim as the squatters are, of the laws in the National Land Code, laws which are passed by the Federal government.

LIM GUAN ENG

—- Mandarin Version —

槟州首席部长林冠英于2014年10月15日在光大乔治市发表声明:

槟州民联政府不理会发展商的抗议,决定采纳以民为本的方式,拒绝批准他们发展那些尚有居民栖身的木屋区地段。

巫统和国阵的造谣者最近表现出色,成功让一名国会议员上当,相信他们的谎言,以致巴当勿刹查希迪巫统国会议员利用这个谎言作为攻击民联的材料。查希迪自以为自己揭发了民联高层领袖的天大丑闻,得意地在星期一国会殿堂上,诬蔑我挪用槟州公帑,购买一辆价值230万令吉的豪华运动型装甲车。

这是在亲巫统部落格上广泛流传的谎言,而这也只是众多针对我的谎言之一。很明显的,查希迪是巫统奸计的愚笨受害者,巫统想要施计,以为“谎言说1000次就会变事实”。正因为有很多人像查希迪一样傻,相信亲巫统部落格的谎言,所以才会有越来越多针对民联领袖的谎言。

尽管恶意谎言满天飞, 一些却可以说是极致卑鄙下流,甚至攻击我家未成年的儿子,诬指他非礼他的女同学。虽然警方已经证明中伤我儿子的言论乃子虚乌有,可是,警方到今天都还没有兑现承诺对付涉案人士。

然而,我比较担心就连学术人员及评论人也陷入巫统及国阵造谣者的陷阱。例如,一些人质疑槟州民联政府没有采取行动对付那些驱赶居民的发展商,甚至把州政府视为亲发展商。

事实胜于雄辩。槟州民联政府已经大刀阔斧,实施与前朝国阵政府不同的政策,从前,若有关地段还住着居民的情况下,国阵政府也批准发展。发展商常常拿着发展批文,狠心及无情地逼迁木屋区居民。

相反地,槟州民联政府不理会发展商的抗议,决定采纳以民为本的方式,拒绝批准他们发展那些尚有居民栖身的木屋区地段。我们只考虑批准空地的发展。很大程度上,这样可以促进发展商及木屋区居民的对话讨论,寻求一个对双方都公平、合理的友善方案。

但是,当地主(通常是与国阵有关联者)利用国家土地法典,申请庭令行使地主的权利,强行逼迁木屋区居民时,冲突便会产生。这些地主不理会他们没有发展批文,也不理会州政府不会批准他们进行建筑项目,他们只是要行使权利通过庭令驱赶木屋区居民。当地主获得庭令以强行驱逐居民之后,州政府便已经没有权力,因为民联政府有义务遵崇法治。

尽管州政府正协助居民争取法律援助,但是我们还是经常被责怪。就算是联邦政府或与国阵领袖有关单位执行的逼迁行动,州政府还是被怪罪。

这是亲国阵的地主及发展商最想看到的局面。他们成功地不需付出任何代价,便可以驱逐木屋区居民,他们的恶行将由州政府来“背黑锅”,因为州政府无法阻止他们的逼迁行动。尽管我们已经尽最大的努力,通过透明化及权衡各方利益来保护木屋区居民,州政府还是会继续承受不公平的指责。

我们希望人民的慧眼可以看清各种谎言,在联邦政府刚刚通过的国家土地法典底下,州政府与木屋区居民一样都是受害者。

林冠英

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