Another grave development

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Another grave development, again in the Batu Lanchang area. This is for a project involving terrace and bungalow houses and a low-cost component, a high-rise block.

A private family graveyard, Kam Cementry, at Lorong Batu Lanchang, Lot 54, Section 5, is at risk, and 56 graves, the oldest dating back 180 years, could be exhumed. With speculation driving up property prices, it is not surprising that developers want to capitalise on prevailing market prices. Unhappy descendants have taken legal action. But the MPPP, for its part, claims that all procedures have been followed in the development application.

This report from theSun:

Demolition begins in Batu Lanchang cemetery
Himanshu Bhatt
[email protected]

GEORGE TOWN (March 9, 2011): A developer granted permission to dig up 56 historic graves at Batu Lanchang here began exhuming the tombs today even as some descendants made frantic appeals to save their ancestors’ burial sites.

Ee Heap’s great grandsons Yeoh Cheang Pew, 80, (left), Cheang Huat, 65,
(second left) and other members of the family at the cemetery.

A demolition team descended on the hilly Hokkien cemetery that houses numerous tombs dating back more than a century, after Taoist priests had performed prayers at the graves in the morning.

The descendants of trading patriarch Yeoh Ee Yeap, who lived during the early 1800s, rushed from Teluk Intan to meet with the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) over its decision to allow Jiran Bina Sdn Bhd to exhume the graves for a development project.

In January this year, another developer had exhumed the tomb of respected community leader Koh Seang Tatt and his wife, who also lived in the 1800s, on a different hillock in Batu Lanchang.

Seang Tatt’s tomb was among about 23 that have been approved for exhumation for a residential development project planned on the site.

Local historian Tan Kim Hong, who was present today, called the demolition a “great loss” to Penang’s heritage.

“An important page of Penang history has been torn out,” he lamented. “We could depend much on the inscriptions on the graves for epigraphical evidence into Penang’s early history.”

He said the extensive cemetery was jointly used by at least six clans and housed many important Hokkien leaders, including Lim Koh Shen, Lim Mah Ee and Tan Hap Sui who lived in the 1800s.

The demolition list included the ornate tomb of philanthropist businessman Tan Gim Kheng, whose family was involved in the founding of the Penang Chinese Town Hall in 1881.

Yeoh Ee Yeap’s great grandson Yeoh Cheang Huat, 65, who came with his elder brother Cheang Pew, 80, said the family had appealed to Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, the chief minister’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik and the MPPP’s licensing department to defer the demolition of their ancestors’ graves.

The family also asked the state to help initiate a dialogue with the developer, whom they claimed had refused to talk to them. The developer had instead told them to refer to its lawyer.

The family also said they had sent several letters to the state government, and met Chow in February but he had then assured that no decision had been made.

They questioned why the MPPP had given approval before the courts have even decided on a legal dispute currently taking place over the land.

When contacted, Ng said the court case was not related to the issue of the exhumation. He also said the state did not have any record of who the descendants are.

“The developer as the landowner can apply for exhumation, and if procedures are followed and the application is in compliance with necessary requirements, the council can issue the approval,” he said.

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Phiphi

this piece of land is a 1st grade graveyard grant. how come it can convert to a housing development?

kingkong

If it is 1st grade graveyard, why malaysians rushing to buy houses there? Taking short cut when gets old or more people the merrier in this plot of land

Phiphi

respect the dead. built a new building/temple for them. its their home for more than 100yrs.

Andrew I

…”I wish more people to know this third world maintenance mindset in our government regardless they are BN or PR.”

nkkhoo

Anil, this is off-topic a bit. Can you carry this bad thing about MPPP as a new post?

http://www.tourmalaysia.com/2011/03/11/an-example-of-third-world-maintenance-mindset/

I visited Penang last month and found out many tourist signboards are already in pathetic shape. Although I have emailed this complaint to LGE and MPPP, I wish more people to know this third world maintenance mindset in our government regardless they are BN or PR.

nkkhoo

This is permanent sign board for world heritage assets. I saw a number of them already in poor condition.

nkkhoo
kingkong

It is not maintenance but very bad design. The UV from the sun decolorise the printing and rainwater gets into the framing. The ony way is to put a roof and HOPEFULLY no one vandalise it.

nkkhoo

Cheap and lousy design needs more maintenance which is clearly lacking in Malaysia society.

Engraved texts and photos on the stone or stainless steel may be the only way to go in the Bolehland.

kingkong

I think you are the answer to mother nature.

Andrew I

I second that.

SamG

Legally the developers have the right to develop the parcel of land, being the landowners.
Unlike KBP, there is no hanky panky. A clean deal between the former land owners and the buyer.
We have to be reasonable to the former landowners. They have a prime property, full of graves. No returns, no income. Why can’t they exhume the graves and make some good money?
Unless there are laws that prevent the graves from exhumed, there is no case for the descendents of those buried on the plots.

But ...

… but you need to understand this …

Anil Netto is interested in dead people.

Andrew I

Butt, probably not the way you like them.

caravanserai

Land on the island It will yield premium rate The island is overly developed Leaving no space to unwind Now the grave-yards The gold mine for some The burial sites must go People need housing… Yet it is always profit driven Expensive homes only the rich can buy Leaving the marginalized out of the equation On the mainland they have to migrate When the burial sites can change hand The ancestral graves will be gone…. The descendants can’t halt the development The graves have to make way Part of history In photographs hanging on walls In time grave-yards will be… Read more »

kingkong

If it is heritage, why the land was sold????

At least the descendents are better than Along Sega’s children as the land was raped and deforested…

Yang

I bought a land and now they say I cannot exhume for development. SO WHAT NOW ???. OK are you going to buy off the land from me at market or my price. A town in China with a history of more than 1 thousand year was sinked off with water in the 3 gorges dam project. Now what with some graves that does not have much heritage value. How do you define heritage. On the age or historical values. As far as the graves are concerned it has none. If age is taken into consideration then thousand of villages… Read more »

nkkhoo

Your grave is no value no matter how old it is. The value of a tomb is on its owner who contributed significantly to Penang development in 1800s.

Lim Gim Siang

They should let the dead live in peace..

Phiphi

i am sure you know is a graveyard land right?

Lim Gim Siang

I don’t know…Any info.

Jonny

Date: 12th March 2011 (Saturday)

Venue: Penang International Sports Arena (PISA)

Admission: FREE (must present your MyKad for admission)

Ning Baizura is invited by the Penang State Government to perform a concert to celebrate Penang’s achievement in drawing the No1 highest investment figures, from Malaysian and foreigners, in the country for year 2010.

The concert will be at Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) on March 12th. It is open for Free to all Malaysians who produce their MyKad at the door.

Crowd capacity is expected to be at 9,000. Outdoor screens will be broadcasting the event around PISA.

Kamal B

Free concert sure we can jom heboh!
Ning has better showwomanship than Siti.

By the way, my friends and I have decided to skip the Sepang F1 and save the money for Singapore Night Race that comes with free Linkin Park live performance after the race!

nkkhoo

Go check Penang tourism website where a poorly written public notice is displayed.

PISA is located in Georgetown is a joke.

http://www.visitpenang.gov.my/portal3/latest-events/details/180-ning-baizura-concert.html

nkkhoo

Where: PISA (Penang International Sports Arena) – George Town

They expect outsiders from KL to search PISA in George town.