Botanic Garden arches to come down!

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The much criticised Penang Botanic Garden arches, one of which is tilting, are to come down, the Tourism Minister announced today.

Apparently the decision was made after another survey in USM revealed that 71 per cent of 1,225 respondents surveyed at the Garden wanted the arches removed. I am told Ng Yen Yen also said that in future, all Ministry projects affecting Nature and the environment would require consultation with civil society. I don’t think she mentioned the tilt at all.

The decision comes after weeks of public complaints and disquiet expressed in opinion polls and civil society protests.

The whole saga provides several salutary lessons for us; in fact, the decision to bring down the arches is highly symbolic.

Never underestimate People Power in influencing decision-making and even in over-turning decisions that seem irreversible. (Witness how the government also had to back down on sports betting.) People Power has now overcome the formidable arches, which even the mighty armies of imperial Rome would have had trouble bringing down!

It also illustrates the importance of public consultation when making decisions at the local level so that a broad cross-section of views can be heard and local sensitivities understood.

The arches also symbolise all that has gone wrong with our development process, which seems to emphasise mindless projects that pour concrete all over the place and damage the ecology. It is time we become more sensitive to the ecology and treat Nature with the reverence it deserves.

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It is also time to hold those who decided/agreed to build the arches and constructed them accountable for the mess they created. Who will foot the bill? The culprits? or will the people once again be asked to subsidise the clearing of the mess through the use of public money?

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75 Comments on "Botanic Garden arches to come down!"

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Gerakan K
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Gerakan K

Your statement:
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Please choose your own CM “wisely” as it is your civil right like eating pork and gamblings
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My question: Can we exercise our civil right in Kelantan ???

kee
Guest
kee
Dear tunglang, I am glad that at least you realised and that you also boldly admitted that you had been a fool for the past 18 years under BN/Gerakan. At that time, mighty quiet, no complaint about the then CM, no noise at all for all the disasters that had happened to the lovely, shining Penang island… I wonder why??? Maybe, the smart (the opposite, i mean) Penang people were all under the charm of that GREAT Dr M !!! Sad, indeed… Good on you guys as you have learned to be critical on your CM, a good sign indeed.… Read more »
cheahst
Guest
cheahst
The Audacity to say that the Arc du Folly will be demolished in accordance with the people’s wishes! So, why was it put up AGAINST the people’s wishes in the first place? Seems like high handed decision made in isolation rather than consultation. It also doesn’t make sense to pay the contractor for a shoddy job which would have come down on its own anyway! It would indeed be 2 black eyes and some broken teeth for the people of Penang, if 1) We are billed for the arch which we never wanted 2) we are billed for demolition of… Read more »
Iron
Guest
Iron

Read the message by Andrew and my reply.

Don’t demolish those ugly structures. Instead, use them as props to showcase the corrupt practices of the Malaysian regime, and turn it into “points of interest” for an alternative tour route – much like the “ghost / haunted house tour” in London – and offer it to the whole world.

And oh, make that “alternative tour route” a nationwide project. There is a certain “palace” in Klang, which by itself is a monumental showpiece of corruption.

tunglang
Guest
We Penangites are taken for … fools. Fools b’cos we can do nothing, our leader can do nothing: Just because it is Federal projects, the excuse is ‘GO AHEAD and JUST DO IT!’ without nary a care for what are the actual needs and wants of Penangites. Fools b’cos we will be blamed for rejection: And when projects aren’t delivered as promised, the blame game starts. Rightfully, Penangites won’t accept thrash works. And this rightful rejection (even at the start of projects) will be taken as an excuse to threaten cutting of future Federal funding. Fools b’cos we are paying… Read more »
Iron
Guest
Iron

But then we *ARE* fools, don’t we?

The ones with brains have moved away.

kee
Guest
kee
All those who have eyes knew it very well that since day ONE after 308, Penang government has been bullied by the Federal… But very sad, some readers seem to have eyes but see not… Poor Lim Guan Eng, if he fights with the federal, the federal will squeeze even tighter the funds allocation for Penang, then, the smart (the opposite i mean) Penang people will condemn him… Now, he keeps quiet because afterall it is the federal’s project, what can he do, as if he has power over the federal, but those who have eyes but see not, make… Read more »
Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

Can you imagine what will happen if Tok Guru no longer in PAS ???

Iron
Guest
Iron

Nope, I can’t imagine what PAS would turn into when that time comes.

Maybe by that time PAS would become a Malay version of that “Makkal Sakthi” party, with UMNO as their ultimate master.

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

Merge with Perkasa ???

Ahmad Syafiq
Guest

PAS has many professionals groomed for the future. You underestimate them, you’ll pay the price. MARK MY WORDS.

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

* pukes *

Ahmad Syafiq
Guest

… GERAKAN boleh belah daripada Malaysia. Period.

tunglang
Guest
Kee, you are wrong to assume that our CM can do nothing. See what has happened to Sarawak. Read up Sarawak Report to get a feel of what kind of environmental destruction the Feds can do to a state like Sarawak. If we are perpetually helpless to mindless developments by the Feds, Penang can see more of these experimental, expensive projects some of which can be used as sabotage against the state administration. Will our LGE sit still and just do nothing? See what happened to the Chung Ling dragon boat team-an accident? Had the state not allowed environmental damaging… Read more »
tunglang
Guest
It’s time to use people’s power and civil rights if our CM got no guts nor creativity to counter the Feds bullying tactics. What’s the point in fighting for Rakyat’s rights to equitable, fair, safe and progressive living when the very leader himself is stymied by financial concerns. Leadership is not about money alone. The same goes for winning the hearts and minds of the Rakyat who are not money-faced. The same goes for dealing with incalcitrant developers whose money investment is not in the interest of Penang’s Heritage and her fragile environment. Leadership power should be exercised with purpose,… Read more »
Ong Eu Soon
Guest
LGE finally admitted in Chinese press that he has been bullied by a civil servant over the botanical garden project. He claimed that the federal civil servant threaten to withdraw the RM7million project if Penang state government refuse to accept the civil servant’s directive. LGE admit that he has no choice but to accept whatever the federal government want. If BN can use a RM7million project to induce LGE to betray Penangites, how can he expect Pakatan’s legislators not to betray the rakyat when millions of ringgit are used to induce them to cross over to be independent legislator. If… Read more »
Iron
Guest
Iron

Aiya, Ong, you know, I know, LGE is about MONEY.

LGE only cares about MONEY, LGE never cares about the Penangites.

For a mere 7 Mil (for the PBG upgrading project), he ‘sold out’ the Botanical Garden, which belongs to the Penangites.

Imagine if BN comes up with something like 700 Mil, what would LGE do?

nkkhoo
Guest

LGE is a not a good manager, he is like a salesman, good in talking.

He hold Penang CM post is a gross mistake for PR.

nkkhoo
Guest

If LGE can admit he made mistakes, then Penang PR still got hope. I afraid he think he is an impeccable man ….

His machai, Jeff Ooi is …. He should not in the politics and forever be a …. blogger to keep his ego high.

Iron
Guest
Iron

LGE is *NOT* admitting that he made a boo-boo.

He is playing the same game MCA plays all the time – tell the Chinese one thing and then tell the non-Chinese another.

So far LGE has only done his lambasting against that “little napolean” in Chinese media.

Dare not even use English or Bahasa to do his lambasting(?)

Sally
Guest
Sally

Yo Iron! Do you read English papers? It is in the Star too!
By the way, if you wish for a Penang bred CM, please stand against LGE in the next elections and let us Penangites decide, ok?
By the way, rope in Ong Eu Soon to be your running partner too.

nkkhoo
Guest

DAP (might) say “UMNO man will be next Penang CM” if you Chinese support BN.”

Don’t worry, PR will lose Penang, Selangor and Kedah in next GE. PR may regain Perak which I rate PR Perak is the best PR government.

vflai
Guest
….the tilted arches being brought down looked sooooooooooooooooooooooo ARTIFICIAL and MONSTROUS/dangerous too. they dont blend with the ‘green nature’ of the botanical garden…..and it cost a bomb…….why WASTE so much of tax paywers’ money when simple strong wrought-iron arches costing less than a few hundred dollars, and planted with some less seen JADE vine(both of the red and greenish/blue varieties, something ‘rare’ for visitors to oogle and take photographs with i am sure, , would suffice??????????!!!!!!!!!!originally, whose smart idea was it, were any of the nature society people or the general public consulted before they were built?….., well, as usual… Read more »
LBJ
Guest
LBJ

I suggest that the bricks (that is if bricks are used) from the arches be marked and sold as souvenir of this foolish project. Maybe some of the cost can be recoup.
If the arches are pulled down, then no evidence of the stupidity will exist.

Finally if the arches are be pulled down, would some entrepreneurs stage a demolition party. I am sure Penang people would like to have some fun. Ng Yen Yen can be the guest of honour. And oh, invite Gerakan K, too.

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

No thanks !!! I better stay at home to watch World Cup. By the way, I think that LGE probably like the arches and that is why he prefer to stay mum on the issue.

Iron
Guest
Iron

Ahahahaha, you mean LGE has the same (no) taste in fine arts as Ng Yen Yen ?

HAHAHAHAHA !!

kee
Guest
kee

casper, i must tell you, i like you very much… thank you very much for doing that …

i hate those MCA people… they are self seekers…

gerakan k, you seem very mild this time around, why, takut kena hantam ah?

anyway, hope you made tons in genting. please do something by voting for a change otherwise your children will curse you la, in the future.

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

I’m still in mourning mood for my unprecedented lost in Genting (about 1/4 of the arches’ cost !!!). The amazing losing streak for 6 days.

Fortunately, some teams in World Cup like the Argentina, Holland and Spain had helped me recover a bit.

Also, your super hero LGE seemed very tame this time. A lost of principle or direction ???

Leithaisor
Guest
Leithaisor
And Ng Yen Yen still had the gall to say that spending the RM150K for thearch and then pulling it down is worth it to stop the repeating criticism from the public. I was thinking more about why pay the RM150K if the arch was leaning more and more? Surely if some contractor built a defective structure which is unsafe, he should not be paid. Indeed, he should not only have to demolish the structure at his own cost and rebuild the structure properly, but also be subjected to an investigation and fined if found guilty of wrongdoing which led… Read more »
semuanya OK kot
Guest
semuanya OK kot

Please remember, this Minister said “2 million is nothing” when critisised for paying Michelle Yeoh’s husband as a goodwill ambassador.

nkkhoo
Guest

Aiyah, the contractor is (allegedly) her machai lah (?)

tunglang
Guest

Also as a matter of Public Safety, is the contractor not using C4 to bring down by demolition the ugly arch?
I understand C4 is a modus operandi for ridding of ‘thorns’ of public interest!

Chong
Guest
Chong

What happened to the RM150,000 to build the arch?

tunglang
Guest
To just agreed to bring down the arch is not good enough, Ng Yen Yen. As a matter of Principle of Quality Workmanship (on the contractor), Principle of Accountability (on previous CM Koh Tsu Koon), Principle of Responsibility (on Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen), these 3 should invariably answer to the public for the slipshod arch AND the contractor must be made responsible for full compensation and cost of tearing down the arch. Failing which BN has failed miserably to implement a good, responsible and prudent upgrading exercise for Botanical Garden. In Penang, you don’t just get away with lousy… Read more »
Iron
Guest
Iron

This has NOTHING to do with Koh Tsu Koon, btw.

The whole thing happened under the tutelage of Lim Guan Eng.

Please ask Lim Guan Eng why he approved the project in the first place.

Ong Eu Soon
Guest

LGE bets on the wrong side of the game…

Ong Eu Soon
Guest
LGE fails to grab the opportunity to be the champion of People Power. Seem like he prefers to be Chicken Minister #2. Penangites seem like never bother about whatever federal funding! We been treated like step children for decades, but now LGE wants us to behave like one. Be chicken! Don’t fight! Wonder whether Penangites should make LGE the leader of opposition in Penang or not. LGE seem like lost his firebrand aggression when dealing with the federal government on development related issues. LGE could had torn down the arches before Ng Yen Yen made her move. What a shame!
Iron
Guest
Iron

Dear Ong,

What can we say?

LGE isn’t a Penangite and he has no idea what we Penangite feel about “federal fundings”.

All LGE knows is money and he absolutely loves it. “More money more better” is LGE all about.

And yes, we end up having a Chicken Minister Version 2.

By next election remember, no more foreigners !

Anyone who wants to be Penang’s CM must be a born and bred Penangite, no matter which party that candidate is from.

wira
Guest
wira

It’s weird logic to congratulate the federal government for tearing down the BN arches which the people do not want built.

If NYY were to correct the mistake using her OWN money, I’ll offer my congratulations.

Andrew Aeria
Guest
Andrew Aeria
Aiyooo Anil… Taking down these arches will be bad for tourism in Penang. I have a better suggestion. Don’t destroy these arches. At no cost destroy them. We don’t want to waste precious public funds now, do we? I mean already Penang Government is already threatening to blow RM50 million of Penang ratepayers money on their inexplicable pet PICC project, right? So, we best conserve whatever money we already have spent in the country to ensure we get value for money. Financial prudence above all, I say. So, take down the arches by all means since they are a threat… Read more »
kingkong
Guest
kingkong

Andrew

Rakyat is you only. We are not going to pay the bills for relocation to Komtar, appoval from MPPP and yearly maintenance.

Why not put them in Gerakan/MCA NYY’s house? Or give to Johor Bharu. Cooked bridge and senget Archway Gateway

Iron
Guest
Iron
Maybe this Andrew guy got a point. Let’s keep the ugly structures. Use them as one of the many “points of visit” in a “Symbolism of Corruption Tour”, and start promoting this kind of “Alternative Tour Route” to the world. Maybe, just maybe, tourists from all over will flock to Penang and gawk at those ugly corrupted structures, and they even get to pose in front of those ugly structures and take some pictures to show their friends and families back home. That way Penang / Malaysia will be super *FAMOUS* for our corruption, our utterly no-taste in fine things… Read more »
leroy luar
Guest
leroy luar

WHO approved the project in the first place? WHICH company got the contract to build them? WHY wasn’t the public consulted BEFORE money was wasted on this?

Indit
Guest
Indit

Another great victory by people power. This is what we should always do, using our collective power to put the authorities in their place when they show arrogance and step out of line. Great job, Anil for leading the way.

kee
Guest
kee

sigh sigh sigh, a wonderful land !!!

no wonder the country is getting bankrupt and they dont realise it is haram to bankrupt a God-given-land…

it is time we change DRIVER, now or never.

talked to a young man and asked him to register as a voter but he said no, he asked me to get him a wife instead…

happy weekend to all !!!

O
Guest
O
Bro Kee, Change driver also must see carefully! DAP & PAS ok, PKR, be careful. This party cannot be trusted and hopefully it close shop fast to spare us the pain and shame of supporting such a lousy outfit. They do not care for themselves, do you think they will care for the Rakyat! This party is worse than UMNO! Always “cakap, tak serupa bikin”. Suggests they close shop, anyway, PAS can take over their role, as PAS now has its own non Malays supporters club and non Malays can contest under PAS ticket. Spare us the frustrations to be… Read more »
tunglang
Guest

Q: When is the official date for the symbolic ‘falling down’ of the tilting arch?
Q: Ng Yen Yen, are you going to officiate the ‘ceremony’?
Q: Who is going to foot the bill?
Q: MSM, are you going to give this a big coverage?
Q: What happens to the other ugly, out of sync arch?

HARRY SUTTON
Guest
HARRY SUTTON

Wow!!! Democracy is in action in Penang. Did someone follow up on who were the builders of the arches and what connection they have to the government? I haven’t lived in Penang for 2 years but I wish I were back there.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Guest
Samuel Goh Kim Eng

YOU CAN’T DEFY THE LAW OF GRAVITY

Do tilting arches come down ultimately due to law of gravity
Or it is due to public opinion on this human error’s gravaty
Many will argue money will be better spent to combat poverty
Yet some are only too happy with money squandered to develop property

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 270610
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Sun. 27th June 2010.

semuanya OK kot
Guest
semuanya OK kot

Well said. It would have been very embarrasing if gravity had defied the powerful ones and “satu lagi project bankrapsi negara” had come crashing down on its own. Better to say “we are listening to the people”.

This is the same mindset that dreams of “developing” 5-star hotels, golf courses and airports at every nature resort.

Yen Yen
Guest
Yen Yen

Can we ask Ng Yen Yen to stand in the way of the arch to be pulled down? This will do the society a good deed.

GC Phan
Guest
GC Phan

Ng Yen Yen should be made to pay all cost of construction and demolition of the 2 arches. She can get some money by standing in the Gardens and sell peanuts and bananas to the monkeys.