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Tsu Koon should set up an independent commission of inquiry to find out the lessons to be drawn from the MPSP demolition of Bukit Mertajam temple concerning local government democracy and accountability, the handling of “Little Napoleons” and the loss of control of the situation resulting in injuries, arrests and firing of two shots by police
(Parliament, Munday) : A Chinese press has reported that I said in Bukit Mertajam yesterday that I would move an urgent motion in Parliament on the demolition of the Tou Boo Kong temple in Jalan Maju, Bukit Mertajam on Friday by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP), which resulted in a scuffle with the police firing two shots, three persons injured and arrest of six persons.
This is an incorrect report. When in Bukit Mertajam yesterday, I commented on two matters, viz:
My announcement of an urgent motion in Parliament was with regard to the extremist, incendiary and seditious keris-waving and speeches at the Umno and Umno Youth general assemblies last week – as they undermined nearly 50 years of efforts to promote national unity and inter-racial and inter-religious goodwill and understanding as well as scare away foreign investors.
After my visit to Bukit Mertajam, I had given notice to the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah to have an emergency debate on the insensitive, extremist and seditious speeches at the Umno and Umno youth general assemblies last week.
On the high-handed MPSP demolition of the Tou Boo Kong Temple in Bukit Mertajam, accompanied by three other DAP MPs, Chow Kong Yeow (Tanjong), Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam) and Lim Hock Seng (Bagan) and the Penang DAP State Assemblyman, Phee Boon Poh (Sungai Puyu), I visited the demolished temple site in Jalan Maju.
MCA Padang lalang assemblyman Tan Teik Cheng has said that he would move a motion of censure over the high-handed MPSP demolition of the temple in the forthcoming Penang State Assembly meeting starting on Monday.
Boon Poh has declared that he would fully support and even second Tan’s censure motion in the State Assembly against the highhanded MPSP demolition of the Jalan Maju temple – but the question is whether Tan will send in such a motion for next week’s Penang State Assembly meeting and whether he would back out and withdraw the motion at the last minute.
To ensure that the State Assembly is not caught by a last-minute development where there is no Penang State Assembly motion on the high-handed MPSP demolition of the Seberang Tengah Tou Boo Kong temple to debate, Boon Poh will submit a motion to the Penang State Assembly on the temple demolition. Boon Poh will withdraw and give way to Tan if the MCA Padang Lalang Assemblyman’s public commitment to move a State Assembly motion is honoured.
Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should exercise his powers as head of the Penang State Government and set up an independent commission of inquiry to find out the lessons to be drawn from the MPSP demolition of Bukit Mertajam temple concerning local government democracy and accountability, the handling of “Little Napoleons” and the loss of control of the situation resulting in injuries, arrests and firing of two shots by police.
MCA Berapit assemblyman Lau Chiek Tuan had said he and state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon had met MPSP president Datuk Md Aris Ariffin and secured his agreement that no action would be taken against the temple until after the State Exco meeting this Wednesday.
If this is true, then demolition of the temple on Friday is not only high-handed but a gross breach of an undertaking by the MPSP President.
The Penang State Exco on Wednesday must demonstrate that it will not tolerate “Little Napoleons” in any branch of the public service in the state, and take firm action to suspend the MPSP President for openly flouting the authority of the Penang State Exco and Chief Minister.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman