Sia Boey: The CAT is out of the bag


It seems like some people are jumping up and down after the archaeological discoveries at Sia Boey received tremendous coverage in the media, scuttling the plan to build a massive transport hub there.

The widespread media publicity given to this area has brought to public attention the historical significance of the area, designated just last year as a heritage and arts district.

In my book, the PDC team and the USM archaeologists have acted with tremendous professionalism and competence in enriching our understanding of the area. I was impressed with their dedication. It is insulting to say they lack competence.

The Chinese-language press coverage generated much public interest. At first many were pleased that the state government was being so open to the public about the findings. But that was then.

Now the place is being sealed, and Sia Boey is to be transferred to the tightly run ship of George Town World Heritage Inc – though it won’t be easy to effect this transfer legally especially if the contractor has site possession, in which case PDC can’t just hand the area over to anyone else. Anyway, what experience and expertise does GTWHI have in such project management?

Then there is the silly and childish witch-hunt: the state government wants a “full report” as “whoever in PDC or USM organised this had done it without authorisation”. But my understanding is that the public briefing was part of the mandate given to the PDC or USM for this project. So they were indeed authorised to carry out the public briefing. If that’s the case, why should the media be barred if the intention is to brief the public?

READ MORE:  The Better, Cheaper, Faster alternative to a massive transport hub at Sia Boey

The veil of secrecy that is now being drawn over Sia Boey is unbecoming of an administration that wants to uphold competence, accountability and transparency. All because the state government is adamant about putting up a massive transport hub at Sia Boey even though there is a “better, cheaper, faster” alternative available: a simple tram station using the cast-iron frame of the old Sia Boey market.

It reminds me of how the 20 volumes of the RM46bn SRS proposal for transport infrastructure is being kept secret to this day. This makes a mockery of the state’s Freedom of Information Enactment.

Sia Boey is now a “secure” area. But this is akin to latching the barn doors after the horses have bolted. It is too late. The discoveries are already out in the open. Unesco and Jabatan Warisan Negara will be watching closely. Even Tanjung MP Ng Wei Aik believes Sia Boey should not be disturbed.

Save Sia Boey from the bulldozers and wrecking balls of $$$-minded developers and contractors.

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  1. If & when Pulo Pinang loses UNESCO Heritage status, there will be those who will most probably ‘Yam Seng’ till sky-high:
    Greedy developers, CAT-Corporate tangoing partnership, cement+iron+alluminium+green-tinted glass suppliers, hallucinating property gurus, heathen (one in particular), SingLanders, Melaka, Feds, Langkawi’s Mad Hatter, swap dealers, pls add more to the list.

    Now, without the UNESCO status, do you think Niao Kong murals can uniquely sell Penang tourism?
    Foreign tourists as well as locals don’t bother to come here to see Darth Vader Transport Hub in Sia Boey!

    • A whopping 50% increase in density?
      Any accountant worth his salt of bean counting expertise would have figured out what’s Pg projected population increase in the next 10 years not to come out with this surreal density formula that will make any developer jump with glee.
      Are we not correct to presuppose (all these while) that this celaka CAT gomen is perennially fantasising + fulfilling the force-fed dreams of greedy-not-enough developers? (Hi, Anil. “Melaka” is now a legalised word in the Malaysian court of law. So pls don’t censor for the benefit of appropriate expression).
      One short statement: How about cementing all of Pinhorn Road housing estates?
      Want to buy cement from Farlim?

    • Dr m’s 70 million population by 2020. So you want pg Gomen to expand sideways, clear more land and reclaim the sea.

  2. seems to be the only blog featuring (in-depth) Penang issues, cultures & environment.
    I tried to source for alternative blogs for wider readings but none comes close to Anil’s.
    Good that some contentious articles reach the senses of the state gomen. Nevermind that they ‘invoke’ the fury of a particular leader. A wake up call is necessary to these politicians that political-corporate tango has to stop if the correct business of state management is serious enough to fulfil all the promises sans (minus) personal ego, no thanks to overt worshipping of a seemingly venerable & can-do-no-wrong deity.
    Cheers Kopi-O kau kau to Anil.

    • Anil is way above many “syiok sendiri” self proclaimed Penang Heritage folks. The latter many not able to engage the public effectively and appear to be submissive boh-hoot type?

      • Can I say you fail to mention GTWHI, which either is playing to the sandiwara gallery of Niao Kong or just plainly, genetically boy hoot?
        Remember this, words & pictures are powerful tools of journalism to influence public opinions.

      • Painting shows many boats lying on the bank and not so distance a sailing boat. Double standard not barking and howling over celaka reclaiming the land done in the past and turn prangin into a big longkang.

      • Unfortunately Anil seems to have been ‘used’ by Penang Forum to ahieve their agenda. He should check if Penang Forum has been infiltrated by the likes of Gerakan or Umno.

      • Typical of Niao Kong’s tactic of “Either you are with us or against us” of self-insecurity.
        USM is not a place to educate & train such personality.

      • Hear hear! It’s for certain that, in a democracy, if a citizen voices a view in conflict to his elected government it can *only* mean that he is 100% for sure an agent of the opposition party!
        Um, Not.

  3. Even if Sia Boey is preserved and restored to its past settings per the picture posted here by Anil, there is still the need to source funds to upkeep, maintain, and sustain public interest especially the young pokemon go generation.

    The question is can NGO like Penang Forum of Penang Heritage given the privileges to manage the site able to raise the necessary funding from mostly in debt public, to honour the past for present?

    So we have to be realistic as no money no honey.

      • Why are you still writing ‘donkey’ comments not worth reading nor appetising for public consumption???

  4. Another cat is out of the bag according to this latest Bloomberg report:

    Bloated Malaysia Civil Service Presents Headache for Najib

    – Public workforce large relative to other Asian peers
    – Civil servants indispensable support base for Najib’s party
    – Salaries, pensions and gratuities account for about a third of the budget every year, the biggest expenditure item.

    Putrajaya’s Pension Liabilities Unsustainable: Economist

    • Why Malaysia’s Civil Service Is Putrajaya’s Headache
      – With the 1.6 million civil servants forming an “important support base” for the government, Putrajaya may find it challenging in staying the course on its fiscal consolidation agenda. Bloomberg TV Malaysia’s Han Tan sizes up the task faced by Prime Minister Najib Razak in tabling Budget 2017.

      • Big financial burden down the road. Rakyat have to pay more tax to support the bloated civil service. Hike in GST is inevitable should BN win GE14.

  5. How is it that Mr Netto can demand that SRS reveal their full Master Plan when the “Better Cheaper Faster” is actually just a Tram Catalog rather then a proper Master Plan ?
    I have seen the route maps for the LRT and roads given by the State Gov, and they have comprehensive and equal coverage for ALL areas of the island and mainland, Which is much more detailed then the BCF “Tram Catalog” with it’s myopic and exclusive focus on the Core Heritage Zone.

  6. Actually no need to jump up and down until it verified that those so-called artifacts are of significant historical value. USM archeologist are looking high and low, left and right, up and down, for any sign of traces of Arabic influences among the ruins to justify unsanitary history of Islam influences.

  7. Lim Chong Eu spearheaded FTZ and he has indeed created jobs for 2-3 generations of Penangites, although the glory days of FTZ is waning now as Bolehland becomes complacent and less productive compared to competitive reginal emerging forces like Vietnam or Mynmmar.

    Koh Tsu Koon and his team left little legacy for Penangites to remember other than a durian named after him.

    LGE revived Penang during his first term as CM, and now some say his arrogance and close link with developers have started to diminish his aura; and his pending imprisonment may likely be his swan song sentimentalism aside.

    GE14 we shall see a new breed of politicians that will decide if Penang can stand up to capitalism yet able to retain the true charms.

    • you see the glory days of ftz is over. what do you expect state gomen to do when commonweath gomen giving peanuts expecting pg lang to be …? in short. still critise and no solution.

      • Spend big on public transportation (discount for season travelers and seniors), impose road pricing at heritage zone to ease congestion, more tree planting, build good hawker centres to improve hygiene, ratings for hawkers with incentives for good ones.

    • What ‘new era’ could the next government promise Penangites in its GE14 manifesto?

      Readers please provide your wish list, but make sure it is something good for the economy for you to care makan all the way to your retirement age.

      Bank Negara Malaysia has revealed that up to 92% of Malaysians worry over their financial health and needs at old age as well as being unprepared for retirement.

      • Penang needs more trees planting not concrete steel glass development to take away the heat, natural ones or that generated by empty talks that cannot be executed.

      • why not ask yourself how much carbon foot prints you left behind? you drive how much heat and co2 generated? you want mppp to stick to pg structure plan and mppp orso follow the landscape and zero runoff plans as to how much green

      • no more factories, no more buildings peanut funds from amno gelakan gomen and pg lang employed as labourers to plant trees? or better term gardener and farmer. all open their as home stays letting their houses to strangers or open wong fei hoong inns or backpackers

  8. Such discoveries are no big deal for the fascists. Look at the fate (research, publicity, maintenance and access) of pre-historic sites, Bujang Valley and the site near Mersing. These are being eliminated through the use of squatters, development and weathering. Maintaining the official version of history and accumulating the balance in offshore accounts is more important.

    • trying telling the writer what is the true event or account with swarms of troops and packs of hello kitties roaming the site. usm must be real professionals able to detect true events disturb or treasure hunted or sovenir keeping but othes.. if they treasure hunt or sovenir kept as if they are the owners and pg gomen by the people is not.

    • Lim Guan Eng has announced that the Penang State has authorised only George Town World Heritage Inc (GTWHI) to handle and manage Sia Boey archaeology site.

      On July 29, Lim had visited the site with exco member Chow Kon Yeow and the site visit was published only in the Buletin Mutiara Facebook.

      They were briefed by the USM archaeologist and Penang Development Corporation. No members of the press were involved as works are on-going. “We asked the team to brief us and we were told that the carbon dating process will take a few months. (definition of carbon dating : the determination of the age or date of organic matter) However, I wish to bring up the matter on the competency of handling the site and if the proper protocol of securing the site are carried out properly,” Lim said.

      A displeased Lim said that though there has been no carbon dating report or any other detailed reports, the Sia Boey site has been widely published by the media. In particular, Lim said that The Star had claimed that the NGOs were not happy with Lim. “When did I even mention the NGO? In my last press conference, I did not even mention any NGOs. The members of the press here can verified that. So, how can The Star publish that? ,” Lim said.

      • The Star got hidden agenda. If The Star cronied developers to build anything over this Sia Boey piece of heritage land, then they will sing different tune.
        I got my asset planted everywhere to expose any hanky panky!

      • I only believe in the fairer sex with 36″-24″-36″ combination!
        X-Files’ (not that movie-rated ones) “I Want To Believe” makes me a happy natural believer!

      • the star is happy with developers advertising in their columns. without them they wind uplike nst.


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