Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Chong Kah Kiat Calls Najib's Bluff In Mazu Statue Controversy

Former Deputy CM-cum-Tourism, Culture & Environment Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said he does not believe Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is ignorant of the fact that he (Chong) had no choice in taking the stoppage of the Mazu statue project in Kudat to court.

He said he had briefed the DPM after receiving the Letter of Revocation from the Kudat Town Board (KTB) on Nov. 15.

"The next day, I had a meeting with the DPM in his office. I went personally and told the DPM 'Now Sir, I have no choice but to go to court.' I gave him a copy. They use Section 15, I have to use Section 16 to appeal. And the DPM actually understood.

"Let me straighten the record. Without disrespect to the Daily Express, I find that the heading is quite misleading. It is quite damaging to me. 'Better To Discuss Than Sue' as if saya orang jahat (as if I am a bad person), salahgunakan kuasa saya (abusing my power).

"Not that I want to be nasty and go to court. The suit that I took is not simply for the sake of main main saja. I have no choice kerana saya kena paksa. I have no choice but to seek legal redress kerana the State Government through the Kudat Town Board (KTB) withdrew atau revoked the KTB's approval to the Mazu project under a specific provision of Section 15 of the Town Planning Ordinance.

"And under Section 16 of the same ordinance, whoever is aggrieved by the refusal of a permission or by the making of a prohibition must within 28 days from the date of receiving notice of the decision, appeal to the High Court against the decision by notice in writing," he told a press conference at his office at Alamesra here.

On another newspaper's heading "Govt Hopes Chong Will Settle Mazu Issue Amicably: DPM", Chong said it is not the Government's hopes but actually the hope of DPM.

"If it is the Government's hopes, sudah selesaibah. Betulkah? Ini ada salah print sikit. Patut the DPM hopes. But DPM is not wrong because he has been fully briefed by me."

Chong said since the letter of revocation was already issued to him on Nov. 15, 2007, it is imperative that he act accordingly.

"Sekiranya, saya tidak ambil tindakan, ertinya saya salah, (If I don't take action, it means I am wrong); ertinya I admitted something wrong with my project. That is why I am appealing to the court."

On Sunday, Najib said the issue of the Mazu statue can be resolved if the parties involved discuss it among themselves, instead of going through the courts.

Chong reiterated that he has been sabar (patient) for more one-and-a-half years. "If there is any BN leader in Malaysia who is really that patient, then Chong Kah Kiat is the man. If I wanted to be nasty, jahat, nakal, I would have taken the Government to court long time ago.

"I never did that. I have got letters and documents to prove how far and how wide I have gone through all this. You think I like to have this sort of problem? You think I like to give up my job?

"My message today is bukan saya seolah-olah main tunjuk lawa mau pergi court. Tidak, saya kena paksa kerana under Section 16, I only got 28 days to appeal against the decision.

"Kalau mau bincang, saya sudah bincang dengan banyak orang, KL and all this. Semua surat saya ada, semua dokumen saya ada. Not that saya tidak pernah buat perbincangan."

The former CM said he had not only been discussing but writing, pleading, begging everybody in the BN to see reason, to be rational and reasonable.

"I have already done everything within my means. What did I get in the end - a letter to cancel my project!

"For the record, I also met PM. PM came to LDP Congress on 11th Nov. PM asked me to see him the following Wednesday. I went to his office. We had a very good meeting on 14th Nov, to be fair to Pak Lah. He was very good. Everything is done. But Pak Lah being a diplomat, you know lah.

"After having successfully met the PM on 14th Nov, the State 'rewarded' me with a letter of revocation letter on 15th Nov, contrary to what PM told me. As a result of which, I have 28 days from the date I received (the letter) to go to court, failing which, that would mean I salah (wrong)."

On the Government's hope to bring the Mazu statue issue back to the negotiation table (instead of going through the court), Chong said it is not a question of negotiating.

"What is there to negotiate? It is a question of whether the Government's decision is right or wrong. Simple logic. If the decision (conveyed in a directive dated June 6, 2006 from the Local Government & Housing Ministry, ordering suspension of works on the project) and followed by a letter from the State Secretary on June 23, 2006 (ordering immediate stoppage of work) is correct and legal, why should the Government talk about compensation and relocating the site?" he asked.

"I know I am not wrong. I have all this while adhered to the law."

Answering a reporter on Federal leaders' stand, Chong said: "They have been very good and understanding, all I can say. I don't want to say much. But at the right time if I am forced to."

Asked why then did the State not give the approval, he replied:

"Personal... I have said that already. If you remember May 2006 Sipadan. That is how it started. Before Sipadan, my project is already completed (except for assembling the statue). It's all documented in the national and state papers. What was said, what was blasted, it's all there, all the statements from the State leadership including mine.

"Bulan satu buat kerja, bulan dua, bulan tiga, bulan empat, bulan lima buat kerja. All up already before this (Sipadan), in the open. Secara terbuka saya punya projek. Siap, sekarang mau assemble. After Sipadan, less than three weeks, my project was stopped. No one can run away from Sipadan. How otherwise can you explain?"

Asked what if the Government asked him to withdraw the suit and he would be allowed to resume the project?

"Then I would say 'thank you, and thank you, and thank you. And I will close the chapter," said Chong.

Chong added: "Let us pray that good sense will prevail in the New Year 2008. Just pray for that and nothing else."

CHONG said the DPM, as a respectable national leader, knows the serious repercussions of stopping the Mazu statue project in the coming election.

He was asked to comment on Najib's words that at the same time, he (Najib) also saw other prayer houses such as a church and a pagoda not far from the mosque and that no problem occurred in Tuaran.

"What is his signal? What is his message? It's already clear tapi orang masih tidur, tak bangun. Ini yang masalah Sabah, masalah manusia, masalah pemimpin (but people are still sleeping, not waking up. This is Sabah's problem, a human problem, a problem of the leadership)."

"Would the Government take the cue?" a reporter asked.

Chong said: "I am not in a position to advise leaders of the State or to make any comment. But it's very interesting what Najib said in Tuaran."

Replying to a question, Chong said his choice of Opposition Leader Ansari Abdullah as his lawyer to fight his case has nothing to do with politics.

"Let us grow up. I cannot cause problem to BN lawyers. Why should I make the lawyers embarrassed and uncomfortable? I want to be considerate. I am talking about law and not politics. I must go and get someone who has got the law in his head. Not a criminal or conveyancing lawyer but someone who is good in administrative law. There are so many branches of law.

"Ansari is one friend of mine, I have known him since Berjaya time, actually he was my Berjaya colleague. I know he is good in his law and a highly-respected practising lawyer." (Daily Express Sabah)

***** Very detailed and honest explanation by Kah Kiat. It clearly shows that Najib is trying to play a double game by not lifting a finger to help solve the impasse but at the same time deviously suggesting 'discussions'. The so-called discussion which Najib wants is actually an invitation to languish in a negotiation cul-de-sac, a trap which the smart Kah Kiat has not only avoided but in the process has exposed the fake concern of the DPM as well as the ineffectual nature of our PM.

Despite our courts being systematically stacked with judges of doubtful quality, credibility, courage and integrity it looks like the legal system will be increasingly sought, to rectify the religio-racial injustices perpetrated by our government in the name of bangsa, agama dan negara.

Much of 2007's stupidity, chauvinism and extreme foolishness, I'm afraid will spill over to 2008.
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Anonymous Budak Baik said...

Now, the Chinese people of Sabah must go to the streets. These BN motherfuckers are cheating every race. RESPECT HINDRAF. You are the best.

Mr. Chong take it to the street.

6:29 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

They they knew they would have bad publicity if they went to court with the "Allah" issue, so they quickly overruled that idiot's ruling of only Muslims using the word Allah.
Now, they think they can get away with this issue.
You can clearly see what the DPM is doing here!
Good for Kah Kiat!

9:42 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DPM, like ALL UMNO snakes are just snakes. Hope his conscience is clear when he next goes to mosque and pray...Go to hell, you UMNO devils !!

10:12 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

screw the musa fella. it was a payback to chong for going against the musa's grand plan to develop sipadan. now, the political fallout is huge. expect repercussions against the musa regime.
think government needs to work overtime which is to register more illegals to enable them to vote, of course for BN in Sabah. And for people like Pairin, who sold out lock stock and barrel of the Sabahans, I wish that you will lose big in the forthcoming election.

10:21 PM GMT+8  

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