Thursday, November 23, 2006

Penang deputy CM behind Taoist temple demolition

Malaysiakini reported that Penang Deputy Chief Minister Abdul Rashid Abdullah and a local UMNO Youth leader were the driving forces behind the illegal demolition (nay, not the legal demolition) of a Taoist temple in Bukit Mertajam last week.

The person who korek (dug) out this fact was DAP Wanita chief and Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng. She said there are letters to prove that Abdul Rashid and Bukit Mertajam UMNO Youth chief Ramlan Ishak had called for the demolition.

She also pointed out that Abdul Rashid was the VIP who had launched a development project next to the temple

She pointed out: “It appears that there is a conflict of interest compounded to the abuse of authority involving the office of the deputy chief minister.”

Conflict of interest implies the Deputy CM, having an interest in the project, could well be happy to see a Taoist temple next to the project go. Conflict of interest has to do not only with facts but with perception – you know, that old saying about ‘justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done.’

The concept of avoiding conflict of interest is meant to achieve that same visibly fair approach, which obviously in this case was obscenely absent.

… apart from the perception that, in the midst of the recent UMNO general assembly, many questioned whether the timing was encouraging for such a demolition.

I wonder whether the value of the deputy CM's supported project would go up with the disappearance of the temple – mind you, the land still belongs to the temple. Maybe we ought to raise funds to build another but bigger one.

Three issues have arisen from the sneak demolition of the Taoist temple, despite Penang state exco Toh Kim Woon and Berapit state assemblyperson Lau Chiek Tuan having secured an agreement from authorities to delay the demolition until yesterday’s state exco meeting.

One – no warning whatsoever to the temple authorities, Toh or Lau. A planned 'Israeli-style 6-Day War attack' - very Israeli-like!

Two – the MPSP demolition staff and police refused to allow the temple authorities retrieve the sacred objects, and the police even fired warning shots to keep them at bay - Gaza style? Again very Israeli-like!

The two incidents together showed the ‘determined’ malice to destroy not only the temple but Taoist sacred icons in the temple a la the recent demolition of Lebanon by the Israelis- very Israeli-like!

Not unlike Lebanon, the temple was built on its OWN LAND! as way back as 1985, more than 20 years ago.

Three – former Raja Bodek has been deafening by his conspicuous silence. Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said: hey, Koh had said he would investigate who was behind the demolition.

“It is very clear from the documents (the letters) that the person behind the demolition is the deputy chief minister. It appears Koh has been kept in the dark even so long after the demolition.”
“Is he a CM with or without power? Koh must take firm action in light of these documents and demand an explanation from his deputy as to why he went behind his back”

Lim said this was a clear case of insubordination by the Deputy Chief Minister Abdul Rashid Abdullah.

Personally I am very very very surprised that Koh was completely in the dark.


  1. You're comparing the government to the Isrealis now? Ouch.

  2. I want those UMNO people to know exactly how they compare to the Israelis - They shouldn't condemn those Jews because they are like them in the way they treat others.

  3. This unmindful action by the brainless few will spell the doom of BN's rule. Mark my words, many Chinese majority areas will fall to the opposition, who i'm sure will play on this issue.

    Please do not blame the government, THE FAULT LIES IN THOSE BRAINLESS FEW.But of course, the general public will blame the government, as the malay saying goes : setitik nila, rosak susu sebelanga.

    i'm very grateful that this untoward incident did not spark another 13th May.We've grown more matured when faced with such oppresive flavoured incidents.