Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lim Guan Eng Continue to Grab the Wrong Headlines

The declassified minutes on the conversion of PDC Heritage Hotel released on Saturday by Lim Guan Eng administration reveal that the PDC Heritage Hotel site is a foreshore land.

Foreshore is the area that is exposed to the air at low tide and underwater at high tide. For development on coastal zone, a construction setback of 60 m is normally observed. Setback is a guideline to developers on how far to site permanent structures behind the shoreline in order to avoid problems with short-term coastal response and flooding problems during rough weather.

If strictly follow the guidelines from Department of Drainage and Irrigation Circular 1987, no permanent structures should be permitted within this setback zone.Guidelines for the width of the setback zone arise from Department of Drainage and Irrigation Circular 1987, which specifies 60m on the open coast. The 60 m setback create a costal buffer zone that should be remain in public domain. This coastal buffer zone effectively allow public access to the foreshore.

The land of any development site that fail to observe this requirement should be considered as a foreshore land. Or put it in another word, the land of any development site that fall within the 60 m setback from the foreshore line is consider as a foreshore land.

The minutes on the land conversion reveal that the state legal advisers had reminded LGE that the site is a foreshore land that under the National Land Code proviso, it can not be converted from leasehold to freehold status. In converting the land, Lim Guan Eng has referred to section 76(aa)(iii) of the NLC which says land could be converted “where the State Authority is satisfied that there are special circumstances which render it appropriate to do so” . What is the special circumstances that LGE referred to in justifying the land conversion?
The special circumstances that Lim Guan Eng has cited for justifying the conversion is as follows:
1) That the project was neglected and in an “abandoned” state.
2) That the equity held by PDC has been raised from 49% to 50%
3) That the cost of equity conversion is borne by YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd

Lim Guan Eng failed to address public concern over the sell of our foreshore land to private interests.
On Oct 15,2008, in a press statement, Lim Guan Eng has promised that the state government would not follow the footstep of his predecessor in circumventing the National Land Code proviso that prohibit the conversion of foreshore land from leasehold to freehold status. The sad truth is that the Chief Minister who once fought alleged land scams committed by the previous state government, is now personally involved in a questionable land conversion. This is a treacherous betrayal on the people by Lim Guan Eng.

Lim Guan Eng hopes by releasing the minutes on the land conversion, he can divert the attention of the people on the questionable land conversion. As usual he took the opportunity to blame Koh Tzu Koon for the land conversion. If Guan Eng sincerely believe that what Koh Tzu Koon did is wrong, he should not go ahead with the land conversion. This is probably the most disturbing incident came after Lim Guan Eng openly promised not to cheat Penangites of their foreshore lands. Disturbing because Lim Guan Eng love to continue what Koh Tzu Koon did, but will blame the later when being criticized for whatever decision he made.

It is important for Penangites to understand why he made the decision that he's made, Lim Guan Eng should walk Penangites through the reasoning why that decision was made. The special circumstances that Guan Eng has referred to is hardly special at all.

6 comments:

  1. Enjoy this link brother. Sometimes, when you write, it is best to accept what comes next

    http://themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/breaking-views/44259-baseless-tirade-against-penang-jeffrey-chew

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  2. Hmm... I wonder what is your current view of LGE's administration. Do you think DAP can retain Penang in the next GE?

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  3. LGE fool hardedly believe he can win the next election with pure chinese votes. That is an illusion. Back in Tanjong 2, DAP won more than 80% chinese votes, that translate to maximum seats of 25. With Indian's votes half of it return to BN. Couple with the drop of say 3 to 5% of Malays, Pakatan will end up as an opposition again. Is this what we would like to see? Guess majority of us, even me will not want this to be happened. LGE need to do better than just pursuing what KTK has left behind. In my view, LGE's close rapport with developers and his overzealous pursuing of DEVELOPMENT make him the worst CM Penang ever has.
    Take the example of landfill, he still want another landfill just like KTK wanted, but the reality is that the federal will not grant him any money to find another landfill. It will take about 2 years for the landfill to run out of space. yet LGE still want to pursue the policies of BN; another landfill which he can't afford. LGE is a self defeating leader mark my word.

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  4. Up to today he still insisted that my interpretation of foreshore land is wrong. I derided my conclusion from Sabah's Water Resources Enactment (1998) which is the only legislation that shed some light on what constitute a foreshore land. LGE has no gut to publicly clarify the issue. I make a mistake by claiming that the PHH site is not a reclaimed land. It is actually a reclaimed land back in 1884 if I am not mistaken. The land is definitely a foreshore land.

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  5. I'm not sure if you represent the mainstream opinion. But many of my Penang friends are pleased of his administration. After all, even Transparency International has commended LGE on the scale back of corruption in Penang. GERAKAN is practically dead as it refuses to speak up against UMNO. My vote still belongs to PR. Anyway politics is a choice of lesser evils, better an incompetent CM than a useless one like KTK

    LGE Boleh!

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  6. My opinion did not represent the mainstream opinion, but it do represent the opinion of a very small portion of voters. In a too close to call event, we might caused an upset. If Pakatan is very confident that it can win the next election by ignoring us, pls go ahead and do what you please. Do not blame us if in the end, Pakatan loss with a very slim minority.All we ask is that stop pursuing the policies of KTK or else .......

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