Koh’s performance the worst: Former exco member

Former exco member Khor Gark Kim has rated Koh Tsu Koon’s performance as the worst among Penang’s chief ministers so far. (And to think that Koh is now in charge of monitoring Key Perfomance Indicators at the federal level…)

All I can say is if you look at the quality of life in Penang – the overall environment including congestion, the state of cleanliness, water and sea pollution, the cutting of hill-slopes, haphazard property development – since the 1970s, it has clearly deteriorated over the years.

This report from The Star:

Guan Eng’s situation likened to Chong Eu’s struggle
July 27, 2009

THE challenges faced by Lim Guan Eng as Penang Chief Minister are similar to those faced by Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, China Press quoted former Penang exco member Datuk Khor Gark Kim as saying.



Tg Bunga folks: Stop work on unapproved lots

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Photos by a concerned Tanjung Bunga resident

While the Penang state government seems to be taking a firm stand in the High Chaparral crisis, the village isn’t the only hot potato around. Residents in Tanjung Bunga want the administration to take a similar firm stand against work on unapproved lots in Tanjung Bunga.

Five individuals from the Tanjung Bunga Residents Association and the Chee Seng Action Committee attended a meeting with Penang state exco member Phee Boon Poh on 20 July. The residents are willing to accept a scaled-down version of the project on the approved lot, but they want all “stabilisation” work on unapproved lots to be stopped until a geotech report on how to stabilise the steep hill-slopes is ready.

One of the residents reports on the outcome of the meeting:



Guan Eng takes a bold, high-stakes gamble

Guan Eng’s announcement that he would direct the Penang Munical Council to immediately revoke the development order issued to Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd is a bold and decisive move.

He is finally using the powers of his office to act decisively in the interests of the villagers of Kg Buah Pala.

In this case, the Chief Minister has had to choose whose side the state government would be on come 2 Aug: the people’s or the developer’s. It must have been an agonising choice, as the state government risks being sued.

But if any developer sues the state government, it would effectively be taking on the people of Penang and as Guan Eng vowed, it would be a long and difficult suit.



Breakthrough in Kg Buah Pala negotiations

0049: It appears that some sort of agreement has been struck between the Penang state government and Kg Buah Pala committee members.

The residents and the state government will stand together with the residents on the deadline for vacant possession, according to a source.

The state government could revoke the permit or block approvals related to the project if demolition starts.



Scuffle breaks out at Komtar

A scuffle broke out between a group of people believed to be linked to MIC Youth and one of Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy’s assistants at around 6.00pm today at Komtar, according to an eye-witness.

The MIC youth reps were there to hand over a memorandum to the state government offering to buy back the Kampung Buah Pala land for RM3.2 million.

After the handing over, which took place cordially, the MIC crowd were still gathered at the ground floor when the assistant allegedly shouted at them from the first floor.

This infuriated the MIC group, words were exchanged, and a few of them then raced towards the assistant. The assistant received a few punches, said the eye-witness, who was not sure if the assistant retaliated before fleeing with other aides to the government offices.



LIVE: Beng Hock’s national memorial service

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Live images from the national memorial service for Beng Hock at the KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall from 8.00pm onwards (see also live webcast below)

‘chiacy’ has images on Twitter here.

2111: “Perhaps even more people here than I thought,” says my contact. “People still coming as Kit Siang came in.”

2054: PKR’s Sivarasa is now addressing the crowd. He asks for the terms of reference of the royal commission to be extended to include the question: How did Beng Hock die? The crowd responds with thunderous applause.

Says my contact: “What’s nice is though mainly Chinese Malaysian, large numbers of other communities are also here. This is no race issue: custody deaths are a Malaysian problem.”

2051: Another contact estimates the crowd at 3,000. “The hall is full… ground and first floors. Dozens are outside. I have never seen the hall so full,” he marvels.



Commission of inquiry: Soaking up public disquiet?

So we are going to have a royal commission of inquiry to look into the MACC’s investigative procedures and an inquest into Beng Hock’s death.

The government can no longer ignore public outrage over what has happened. Politically, Beng Hock’s death has shattered whatever “feel good” effect brought about by the Najib adminstration’s recent public relations initiatives.

By setting up a commission of inquiry and inquest, the Najib administration, apart from its stated objective of uncovering the truth, hopes to quell the anger over what has happened.

While many would welcome the setting up a commission of inquiry, we need to ask what impact previous commissions of inquiry have had.