Statement: People Before Profit – Objection to Boustead Land Reclamation
2nd Oct 2011
I would like to extend my unequivocal support to the residents of Putra Marine, Gold Coast, Bay Garden and the surrounding communities in objecting a possible land reclamation project by Boustead. As their state assemblyman, I fully understand their anxiety and fully support their democratic rights to voice up against a greedy corporate giant that might soon affect their lives.
The whole episode of this project goes back 3 years ago. Boustead Holdings Bhd is a corporate giant closely linked to UMNO. It got the approval from the previous administration to construct a high-rise hotel within the UNESCO World Heritage Zone. After Georgetown obtained its UNESCO Heritage Status, Boustead Hotel was requested to reduce the original proposed height to a max 18m in accordance with the new guidelines.
As a result, the current state government under the leadership of YAB Lim Guan Eng was forced to negotiate a settlement with Boustead. Failing to do so, the state is at risk of facing law suits amounting to hundred of millions of ringgit.
I urge Boustead to put the Rakyat and the hard earned Penang Heritage Status first before financial profits. The UNESCO World Heritage is a crown jewel to Penang and any corporate company must respect this status. It is utterly greedy for some corporate companies to calculate losses and threaten to sue the State Government for hundreds of millions of ringgit simply for adhering to UNESCO guidelines. It is equally unscrupulous to force the State Government to compensate them by reclaiming large tracts of land to cover their losses. The Government Linked Companies belongs to the Rakyat. They have to lend their ears to the voice of the Rakyat too!
As the State Assemblyman of this area, I have clearly raised my objection and reservation as early as May, 2011. In my Dewan speech, I put forward my question to the Chief Minister. Please read my Dewan Speech here, para 30 to 35:
After my speech in the august House, I have raised my objections not less than 5 times to the Chief Minister himself during formal and informal settings. I have also arranged 2 meetings for the RA with the Chief Minister. At those meetings, the residents have repeatedly expressed their objection to the CM.
I hope the Chief Minister will stand firm and not succumb to the pressure from a Corporate Giant. The Rakyat will fully support you in negotiating for an amicable solution. We want to send a clear message to Boustead and that is: “People before Profits”!
Sim Tze Tzin
Pantai Jerejak State Assemblyman
我全力支持Putra Marine，Gold Coast，Bay Garden及附近一带的居民，反对极可能进行的填海计划。身为他们的州议员，我完全了解他们的感受，及全力支持他们提出反对的民主权利。他们面对的将是一间强大贪婪的商业集团。