Pykett Avenue loophole?

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An article in theSun today discusses loopholes that could allow four high-rise condo towers to be built on a site in Pykett Avenue, Penang, where one stood a mansion that was demolished without local council approval. Are we heading for a Metropole Hotel-style ‘solution’?

The mansion at Pykett Avenue before it was demolished

Read this report in today’s Sun:

Remember Metropole Hotel?

Metropole Hotel - Photo credit: http://www.hbp.usm.my/

The hotel was surreptitiously torn down on Christmas Day in 1993. The developer was later ordered to incorporate the facade of the hotel into the new high-rise structure. It turned out to be a farcical facade.

Read this report in 2001 from Malaysiakini about what happened to the Metropole Hotel:

In 1993 it was designated a heritage building by the Penang Municipal Council. Among the listed owners of the Metropole was the president of the Council who was also the chairman of the Penang Gerakan.

A series of shady deals unfolded: Metropole was allegedly declassified from category I to II, meaning it could be torn down as long as the facade was kept. It was then sold to a RM2 or 20-Baht (paid-up capital) company called Dolphin Square Private Limited for RM9.5 million.

On Christmas day (1993) it was obliterated in a lightning operation and the debris carted away. People smelled something fishy and a storm ensued. The hue and cry and the wrath of the people filled the papers, and provided live ammunition to the political opposition.

“How can a RM2 (20 baht) company buy a RM9.5 million house in a designated heritage area, if it is not assured that it could be knocked down for development?” asked opposition leader Lim Kit Siang. “Which bank is going to finance the deal if it is not assured of a quick return?”

The state government’s damage control went into full swing. On Jan 3, 1993, the city council ordered the owner to rebuild the house to its original form in six months. Failing to comply would result in a maximum fine of RM10,000 and an additional fine of RM500 for each day’s delay. The Chief Minister lauded the council for it’s swift action.

On Feb 14, the company was charged in court for demolishing a heritage house without permission and subsequently fined RM50,000. Today, seven years later, the storm has abated but nothing has been done to restore the house. What has happened to the fine accumulated – RM500 a day for each day of non compliance?

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25 Comments on "Pykett Avenue loophole?"

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wandererAUS
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wandererAUS

Peter Wong;

When I introduce you a bride, I do not need to draw the intestine how clean she is. If you still do not know your assessment from past experiences, God help you!

peter wong
Guest
peter wong

so who is better BN or DAP ??

KOMTAR Merchants
Guest
KOMTAR Merchants

Like asking Komtar under who is better ?

Ex assembyman Lim Gim Soon or present assembyman Ng Wei Aik ?

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

Developers like Dap very much.

Ong Eu Soon
Guest

When come to the demolition of Do Re Mi, the tree house cafe, LGe has no hesitation. When come to the demolition of (the structure) at Hye Keat Estate, Air Hitam), LGe just doesn’t know what to do. Pretending that nothing has happened…

Ong Eu Soon
Guest
This sate government allows illegal demolition and illegal expansion. When come o demolish illegal expansion, LGe will tell you that is a private matter, the state government can’t do anything. But to the public, he will tell you that MPPP will not hesitate to tear down any illegal expansion. If LGe really has gut, he should accept my challenge to tear down the illegal extension of (a structure) at Hye Keat Estate, Air Hitam. … illegally extended it’s building of 10X10 sq ft without the consent of the real owner… The issue has been highlighted to LGe, but no action… Read more »
Jerejak King
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Jerejak King

OEs
Hav u been treated the same prior to 308 ?
Pls be impartial, ok ?

moo_t
Guest

Well, if State government just pass a 3 year stop work regulation on all illegal torn down heritage site.

Sean
Guest
Sean
There obviously must be something other than a fine. Unless they’re prepared to fine a sum no less than the maximum potential profit to the illegal demolisher, any fine amount will be a death sentence for all heritage buildings. Perhaps there should be a fine and a ‘change of use’ for the land so that it must be maintained as an urban park at cost to the owner. The owner can then choose to sell the encumbered land at the market rate for encumbered land – it doesn’t seem unreasonable for the council to own and maintain urban green spaces.… Read more »
FL68
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FL68

On the positive note, this is a report of a successful restoration of heritage buildings (with pictures) in Penang:

http://www.kwongwah.com.my/news/2011/05/25/5.html

wandererAUS
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wandererAUS

Weird events happened when UMNO/BN were plundering the nation before PR took over the administraion…including Penang. Obviously, weird creeps were created alon the way, a typical example is fully displayed in this blog. A shameless creep that thinks with his peabrain and oozes out BN rubbish …
Gerakan K, you poor miserable confused …

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

Don’t divert to other thing lah. It seems that the state is powerless against such loophole.

powerless = unfit to govern ???

peter wong
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peter wong
This just shows all developers in town, go ahead and flaunt the law. it is not adequate to protect our old heritage buildings. Bang them down whack them demolish all u want. pay a 6 k fine and thats it. The GDV estimated for this project is 400 million . What is six thousand ringgit. Sad to say more building Heritage or not will go. Take the bungalow opp Convent Pulau Tikus, that will be next. Metropole Hotel same story no plans to rebuild, hiya burnt la plans. DAP a challenge to you how do you prevent this if you… Read more »
Gerakan K
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Gerakan K

Paper tiger ??? Or media tiger ???

rilak-kuma
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rilak-kuma

Pykett cheering for $ untung the classic way in tropic penang.

tunglang
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tunglang

Pykett Avenue loophole?
Can MAH! Which developer
can’t SING Demolition Man? It Stings.

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

Such weird thing only happen after GE-12. Congrats the rocket team. You are the special one.

snow
Guest
snow

Of course, the rocket team is special. Eat your heart out sore loser. Gerakkan lost all their seats in Penang and do you know why? Use your brain if you have any.

Gerakan K
Guest
Gerakan K

At least one machai being honest about it. Now it is developers party time !!!

Bravo rocket !!!

New slogan for you:

Developers diutamakan,
Loophole disayangkan

Gim Soon
Guest
Gim Soon

Gerakan K, do think before write because you are hurting BN chances with your “no-brainer” comments !

boy scout of penang
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boy scout of penang

the demolition approval document could have been signed b4 308 era ?

boy scout of penang
Guest
boy scout of penang

$ fine for pre-approval demolition is chicken feed to Mah Sing.
may be to keep the building facade intact while new buildings x4 are developed ?
with current swearing & cursing by concerned heritage lovers of penang, the feng sui masters agree that the “chi’ will stay on to happy-haunt the future residents of the condos ???

peter wong
Guest
peter wong

MPPP can hire Heritage consultant tco advise them on rebuild.

The question raises eyebrows why they did not think of this ??

just no detail plans is not good enough

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Like the typical recalcitrant businessmen mindset who think MPPP can do no further than to approve with a slap on the wrist fine after the fact. Who’s afraid of the rule of law?
This is one weakness MPPP should wake up to realize the monkey business going on the island.