Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Press Statement by Sim Tze Tzin on Boustead Land Reclamation

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:
http://www.simformalaysia.com/2011/05/05/draft-ucapan-adun-pantai-jerejak-yb-sim-tze-tzin-dalam-sidang-dun-4hb-mei-2011/

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



文告:人民利益优先-反对Boustead控股填海计划
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。

这个事件的起源,可以追朔到3年前或更久。前朝政府批准了Boustead在乔治市兴建高楼酒店。但是,不久后,乔治市获得了联合国文教组织的世界遗产地位。随着而来的是比较严厉的发展条规。Boustead被逼减少高度到仅仅18米。Boustead是与巫统关系密切的公司。随后,Boustead就要求州政府补偿损失。如果没有赔偿,他们将会提控州政府上法庭。如果州政府败诉的话,将会被逼赔偿高达数亿令吉的赔偿金。

我谨此呼吁Boustead以人民利益为优先,盈利放次要地位。 世界遗产地位是槟州的“国宝”,Boustead身为政联公司必须尊重遗产地位。我遗憾部分政联公司打算趁机施压州政府赔偿巨大赔偿金祢补他们的损失,这种贪婪的作风,令人不齿。同样可耻的是同时狮子开大口要求填海赔偿损失,这好象是趁火打劫。政联公司是属于纳税人的,他们必须尊重槟州人民的声音。
身为本区的州议员,我早在5月初的州议会里就提出了我对这个计划的疑虑。请阅读我在州议会的纪录(30-35段):
http://www.simformalaysia.com/2011/05/05/draft-ucapan-adun-pantai-jerejak-yb-sim-tze-tzin-dalam-sidang-dun-4hb-mei-2011/

我也超过5次亲自向首席部长表达人民及我反对的立场。我也安排两次首长与居民协会的对话。居民已经很清楚表达他们反对的立场。我们希望首长在与Boustead协商的时候能站稳立场,不要向巫统朋党控制的公司妥协。人民将与您站在同一阵线,向贪婪的大企业说“盈利虽重要,人民利益价更高!”


沈志勤
班台惹雅州议员启
2011年10月2日
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