Malaysiakini Letter

Be accountable to Kg Buah Pala villagers, Pakatan

Truly Malaysian  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Hindraf vs Lim: War of words continue .

With position comes responsibility, with responsibility comes accountability. Correct? As the chief minister of Penang, the position speaks for itself of its vast powers. The power vested in that position comes with responsibility.

Lim Guan Eng can delegate tasks, but he is accountable for the overall outcome and for the standard required for his governance through his officers.

Everyone knows the issue revolving the Kg Buah Pala. Let’s talk first on the rule of law as this was the first thing Lim said in that he had to respect the law and there is nothing that can be done.

When social activists started getting involved and questioned his powers vested under the Land Acquisition Act 1960, it then moved on to the cost of acquiring the land back from the developers for tens of millions and that it was the fault of the previous administration.

Now, of course, it is absurd for the Penang state government to spend millions of ringgit to buy back the land from the developers. This because no development has taken place and furthermore there are provisions to challenge the developer’s claim under the Land Acquisition Act 1960.

The state legal team or even DAP’s legal team which fought tooth and nail against the federal government in Perak over the New Villages and Kg Tersusun issue could have advised him.

The previous Penang ‘mumbo jumbo’ administration sold the land below market value to Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang. So what has Lim’s legal team come up with to question the land transfer and the questionable circumstances surrounding the sale?

Well, any lay person would know that if there is an element of fraud is involved - even retrospectively - then such agreement can be invalidated. This is a job for Pakatan’s legal team.

Then the compensation issue, you say RM200,000 but the residents claim that was only RM90,000. Now whom do we believe? The compensation is not even an issue for the residents as they are keener to preserve their ancestral home and the Pakatan government had promised to retrieve it for them prior to the election. Again, a question of accountability based on trust, I presume.

If you notice, everything from DAP came out in piecemeal manner as and when the public start to probe deeper into the affair. Well, I can understand this with BN but with Pakatan, we want to see the difference. Yet, it seems DAP is slowly slipping into the same rut.

Yes, I agree Pakatan is definitely doing a great job in Penang, but isn’t that why we had elected them? But then why did Kg Buah Pala slip their sight although the issue has been there for sometime?

You can say that they can’t please everyone but this is not about ‘pleasing’. Where is the accountability for these residents as the Pakatan government eagerly promised that they will retrieve this land once they are in governance.

Why does the CM now need to come out and defend his inaction with all these excuses when a lot more could have been done from the day he took power. Where is his accountability? Why did it not pursue any action to invalidate what seems to be a questionable transaction?

Are you telling me that they don’t have the mechanism when the whole of Malaysia knows that the state was shortchanged in the said transaction? Seriously, I think the Penang state government needs to revamp its legal department and bring in some serious practitioners who will be able to carry out their task for the effective socio-development of the state.

All said and done, it is still not too late for Lim to correct matters by putting his legal team to work on the legal technicalities that could prevent the demolition and prevent the payment of any large compensation.

This rather than being adamant and playing truant by giving all kind of excuses. Nobody is asking the Pakatan-led government to be cowed into meeting the demands but prove to us how accountable you have been in the Kampung Buah Pala issue rather than throwing rhetoric without addressing the root cause.

As for the public, sometimes we get carries away and say things without a thought because we really don’t take the trouble to digest the message nor understand the crux of the matter but are only interested in voicing what we think within the narrow line of black is black and white is white.

Sometimes with worldly experience and exposure to humanity issues for a just cause, the public may be able to see that white can be black and black can be white so long as it is a just and fair.

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