Penang Gerakan chief takes DAP to task over failure to rap MPs - Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

Penang Gerakan chief takes DAP to task over failure to rap MPs

GEORGE TOWN: Instead of taking the two DAP MPs for Tanjung and Jelutong to task for collaborating with the supposedly illegal Ghee Hin brotherhood, the Penang government seems to be lending legitimacy to the grouping, said state Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow.

“The issue of the ‘50 Love Lane’ property between the state government and Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) would not have evolved into this confusing stage if not for the promise by the Penang Local Government Committee chairman back in 2014 to the PCCC.

“It was a promise to return the property to the PCCC through alienation after the state confiscated the property under the National Land Code for failing to pay the quit rent,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Teng said Penangites must condemn such irresponsible handling of the issue by the state government, adding that the Chinese community should not be treated to such a circus show.

Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi said parties who lay claim to the property would have to exhaust legal avenues before such a move could be proposed.

“With the entry of two or more parties, it would lead to an arbitration process and we have to wait and see how it turns out,” he told newsmen at the Jelutong Deepavali celebration at the Penang Home for the Infirm and Aged in Jalan Masjid Negeri here.

A group identifying itself as descendants of Ghee Hin, a Chinese secret society from the 1800s, is now claiming the controversial Love Lane property.

Led by Datuk Teoh Kooi Sneah, who was Nibong Tebal assemblyman from 1969 to 1974 and Sungai Bakap assemblyman from 1978 to 1986, the group which numbers about 50, recently said they were descendants of the society that used to own the building.

This has put the PCCC in a “spot” as it had been at loggerheads with the state government over the transfer of the property which it claims to be the rightful owner.

Ooi also denied that the new group was a proxy of the state brought in to dispel the notion that PCCC was the rightful owner.

“It is wrong to say that they are our proxy as the state would transfer the property to anyone who follows the legal requirements to take over the property,” he said.

On the statement by Teng that the action by Ooi and Tanjung MP Ng Wei Aik had given rise to suspicion that a legitimate elected DAP state government might now be willing to collaborate with an illegal society, Ooi said he would not want to give weight by answering the accusation.

In August, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said plans in 2015 to trans­­fer the property to the PCCC hit a snag because it was found that the clan council did not own the building.

He had said that the state was willing to transfer the property to the clan council for a symbolic RM1 provided it sends its lawyer to negotiate with the state government for the transfer.

According to records in the Lands and Mines Office, a High Court decision on Jan 7, 1909, saw the appointment of a five-member board of trustees to oversee the property belonging to Eng Siew Kee Kongsi.

The trustees have since died and a pile of unpaid property charges allowed the state government to seize it at the beginning of 2014.

PCCC chairman Anthony Chang said the last remaining trustee approached them in 2010 before he died, imploring the council to take over the heritage property and restore it.






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