Sunday, October 28, 2012

Red-faced Indians

Some three hundred Indians in Malaysia were eager to show how stupid they were. And when former MIC President Samy Vellu joined in, it confirmed what I was saying. They were protesting against a 29-storey condominium development – the Dolomite Project – that is a stone’s throw from the limestone cave that houses the popular Sri Maha Mariamman Devasathanam Temple and the venue of Malaysia’s largest gathering to celebrate Thaipusam. They were claiming that the said development is in an environmentally-sensitive area plus the fact that no environmental impact assessment report had been done for the project.

Just to incite matters, they alleged that the condominium construction had been irresponsibly approved by the current Pakatan Rakyat government. The temple committee led by chairperson R Nadarajah then promptly gave the Selangor authorities one month to scrap the project, failing which they will institute legal action.

The “Save Batu Caves” demonstration on October 26, 2012. Picture by Choo Choy May.

Gerakan Senator A Kohilan inflamed tensions further when he maintained that as a former councillor with the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) – that although he had been aware of the undertaking since 2007 – the former BN administration did not give approval for the project. He insisted on Friday that the PR government, which gained control of Selangor after it defeated BN in the 2008 general election, was behind the approval of Dolomite’s plans to develop the land.

On Saturday, the PR government laid bare Kohilan’s lies when Ronnie Liu, the chairperson of the Local Government, Research and Development Committee revealed the complete documents of the “Planning Approval” that was granted on November 30, 2007. He also showed reporters a construction plan, including the location of shop lots and the condominium, which was submitted by the developer to MPS.

I wish I can see Samy Vellu’s red face but perhaps not. I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word ‘embarrassment’. As for Kohilan, didn’t Abraham Lincoln once said “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar”? Shameless fool!

Ronnie Liu (center, in yellow) with Selangor Pakatan Rakyat supporters showing the 2007 approved plan granted to developer Dolomite Properties Sdn Bhd to build a 29-storey condominium and shop lots near Batu Caves. Picture by Md Izwan.

A picture of the construction plan for Dolomite Park Avenue sent to the Selayang Municipal Council for approval in 2007. Picture by Md Izwan.

In the SPL match between Celtic and Kilmarnock, the former lost 0-2 to the latter. Cillian Sheridan (43) and Liam Kelly, who scored a penalty (62), were the duo to capitalise on Celtic's lethargy on Saturday – this well-deserved victory was Kilmarnock’s first win at Celtic Park since 1955!

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