Do not rob Peter to pay Paul!

I always have nostalgic feeling about the 5 year stay I have in KE Hall, College Road near the Singapore General Hospital. It was during my 5 years of undergraduate days there.

At that time, our ringgit was on par with the Sing dollar ( at one time, it was even stronger, making  things in Singapore much cheaper than home), and I normally would buy back fruits whenever going back to Penang whenever  i had a break. The place I frequented most in Singapore was the Chinatown area, a stone throw and 15 minutes walk from our hostel.

AT that time, there was a flea market there every night, and going there after dinner became part of the routine for many medical students staying at KE Hall and had become a form of relaxation after a hard day at the hospital ward. (There were students from other faculties too staying there, but the majority was still medical and dental students).

People’s Park was already up. But we normally would go to the flea market since things were cheap, crowds were more colourful and it was good for people’s watching too, not to mention some of the food that was cheap and good.

Chinatown, or Niu Cher Sui in Mandarin,  is still up, and has now been designated a heritage area. Even though much has changed and  the flea market has gone( there are still stores in certain areas, but no more those who traded from a floor mat), the buildings are still there and the facade has not changed much, with most buildings painted and looking much newer than before.

This is heritage and all over the world, people are now preserving heritage buildings, since it is not only for the architecture, but also for the history and the memory of the people who had built, laboured, stayed and traded there.

Heritage is about our past, an important part of any nation.

Thus, it is with a feeling of disgust that I read that our MRT Co is going to acquire part of KL Chinatown area to make way for underground tunneling. How the surface buildings will be affected by tunnelling I do not know, since I am not a geo engineer and have no expertise on this.

The question I have for the authority is just this: Isn’t our heritage more important than development?

Our present Masjid Jamed stretch is underground but it did not affect those shops that are on the surface along the masjid jamed, pasar seni stretch. Why can’t same thing be done to the Chinatown area, if the line cannot be re-routed or re-aligned.

Today, news had it that shops in Bukit Bintang area are also being acquired. How on Earth would the underground tunnel affect those shops, I do not know, and maybe someone out there can enlighten me.

If the Channel Tunnel between England and France can be below sea, and there is no need to acquire the English Channel seabed and empty the seawater above the tunnel prior to making the tunnel, why can’t we be doing the same thing?

If shops are acquired in BBintang area, and they are not even  affected by the tunneling, and those who acquire it use it for other development and make a pile, then it is not right since those owning the buildings would be forced to give up a gold mine in the name of building MRT.

It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul..

I hope the authority can view the whole acquiring exercise in a more preservative mode, and try to use more modern technology in building this. Already our MRT cost is not cheap ( read my post on this). We do not want to add our loss of heritage  to the financial cost of building it. There is simply no value that an be attached to heritage, since it is something priceless.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 13:15:42

    The porn star and faked scholar should answer this question as they claimed they are championing the interest of the rakyats especially Chinese. Otherwise, we may as well bury them and dump into south China Sea for the benefit of the hungry sharks.

    Like

  2. klm
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 21:17:28

    There are many possible reasons why the authority want to take over the land and none of them are good. In fact they smack of dirty tricks.

    1. It is a chance at land grab for a piece of valuable land. Getting rid of the land owners allow the cronies to come in and develop the land when the MRT is done.
    2. It will get rid of a DAP hotbed.
    3. It make a show of MCA solving the problem and to convince Petaling Street to vote MCA.

    So it is either crony land grab or dirty politics.

    Like

  3. CYC
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 22:18:28

    Klm,

    Patrick Teoh on his blog “Niama” has predicted the 3rd possibility and was proven correct when porn star announced the land will not be acquired. Porn star thought he is so smart but his trick is too childish.

    Like

  4. monsterball
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 01:14:48

    Barry Wain said Mahathir robbed Malaysians RM100 billion for 22 years as PM.
    Any decent man who values his reputation will take actions against such accusations…all written black and white in a thick book.
    But UMNO B crooks are suck nice ever forgiving politicians…never sue anyone…never deny….never admit.
    We all know…who is Peter being robbed…but who is Paul….one must clearly understand.
    Paul is the stooge taking care of the robber’s loot….that if caught..Paul is the sacrificial lamb to protect the real robber.
    Naturally..Paul will be rewarded if all things goes well..and Paul knows the master mind robber is the Govt himself.
    It has all things worked out…very safe..very legal…and so Paul feel comfortable to participate as a stooge for a fee.
    There are so many Pauls….Tajuddin….the late Eric Chia…Vincent Tan….and worst of all…MCA… MIC and Gerakan support such robberies…to apply their Peter robbing Paul art too.

    Like

  5. BeWildered
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 01:26:01

    The only way to change this kind of social political culture in Malaysia is use the vote right in GE13, if there is going to be one.
    Asking robbers not to rob is close to impossible as political robbers have no conscience. They do it for greed, not for needs.

    Like

  6. monsterball
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 02:54:55

    Good afternoon “Bewildered”.
    How are you today?
    Robbers are the UMNO B rouges and thieves.
    Peter are Malaysians.
    Paul…should be PAULS…for the robbers have many “Paul” to hold in trust…looted money by all sorts of ways.
    No need to give the details..how robbers work.
    And yes…”BeWildered”…these robbers are greedy and have no guilty conscience at all.
    After that..these robbers dressed up with false titles…travel around the world…shopping.tipping….loving every minute being saluted…being honored as great customers…feeling great..so much so….they cannot live without keep on finding ways and means to rob Peter…in whichever ways they can.
    Half are kept in party account to buy votes and loyalties..to try buy up the whole country…that way.
    The other half…..some are given as rewards to the PAULS…the upfront man doing the wayang kulit job.
    And large portion of the balance of half…goes to their sons and relatives…to make sure the robbers have not one cent traced to their accounts.like what Mahathir did for 22 years.

    Like

  7. BeWildered
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 06:20:38

    Monsterball, things are fine here in sun shine California.
    I have not factual information on where the lots goes from these robberies, thanks for providing that.

    Like

  8. Li Li Fa
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 10:22:25

    In many European countries, the people, through their respective governments strive to conserse, maintain, and functionalize their existing heritage sites. Many of their old and ancient buildings, are not torn down, but convered, renovated and made into functional buildings and spaces. Through education, and a genuine efforts, the people get to still enjoy the cultures of their forefathers. Germany is a shining example. They have a annual allocation of budget for heritage conservation. And no one can deny that Germany is a modern progressive country too.

    They enjoy much of their past , as much of their present, in order to project into the future.

    Having another mass transport system that runs from Sg. Buloh at one end, through the KL city and reaches the satey town of Kajang is indeed a welcome move in terms of easing traffic jams and bringing travelling convenience to the people. Notwithstanding the many spin-off development.

    But digging through KL city will definitely borrow through years of history, cultures and people’s mind-set. Perhaps the concerned authorities should work with heritage groups, who are better informed on the various facets of heritage conservation. This MRT project seems to have been conceived so speedily and pushed through in a jiffy without much consulation, discussion, dissemination of information, etc. Is there any need to relook into the laws of land acquisition?

    Culture belongs to the future generation, and if all the heritage buildings of KL were to be torn down, what is there to show to the people of this nation; and even to the tourists who come to see genuine edifices that truly reflect the cultures of the land. They have enough of skyscrappers and avant-garde buildings of their own. I suppose they want to see what really lies in Asia.

    All the promotional dances during tourism month reflect Asia in miniature.
    Are we trully Asia?

    Like

  9. reader
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 16:33:04

    Dr Hsu,

    Sorry, something off topic.

    At the end of this post, before the first line of the comments is a ” floating ”
    pop up box described crudely as the following:

    Attention – in blue strip

    You are today’s
    iPAD 2 winner

    Click on the “Yes” button below
    to try to win before time runs out

    Yes No

    I still regularly read your posts, but have not written anything for quite some time.

    It is my belief that this pop up box appears without your knowledge/approval.

    Thank you.

    Like

  10. mmc
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 22:57:40

    UMNO goons are salivating for the big kill. Typical BN style. the BIG C

    Like

  11. A true Malaysian
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 23:24:56

    I still remember when the government decided to go for LRT instead of MRT, they claimed that KL soils are not suitable for MRT (maybe the soils consist of ‘lumpur’, i.e. ‘mud’ in Malay. That maybe why it is called Kuala Lumpur).

    But, now, they decided to go for MRT, conveniently forget about the soils problem. Here, I really hope the soils are really suitable for MRT, if not, complications are what we are going to face in future, especially during construction period, which stretch over a period of at least 10 years. I wouldn’t dare to imagine the road condition in KL then. Even before the construction begin, they already think of how to cut a big slice of meat out of it. You can imagine how will things go after that.

    Anyway, it is a fact that they are good spenders (big spenders for that matter), not good managers.

    Like

  12. Dr Hsu
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 09:16:06

    reader
    yes, my blog is meant to be advertisement free. I do not know how these pops-up occur.

    I have complained to wordpress.com about the advertisements, but the reply is that they have the right to put advertisements as they see fit, since they are hosting my blog.

    Thanks for letting me know. Cheers.

    Like

  13. Dr Hsu
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 11:58:25

    klm
    The DVD man has lost all face . Syed Hamid has rebuked him.

    I think a bigger interest is involved in the land acqusition.

    In Malaysia, if there is a project, it is often not for the interest of the public but more for certain individuals or groups.. This is a gold mine. When there is honey there are ants. When there is gold mine, there will be warlords.

    If the head of a major component cannot even reverse a decision in the name of heritage protection, then where is the power sharing..?

    Like

  14. alice cc ang
    Aug 27, 2011 @ 15:33:52

    My answer is none of them. The rationale behind my answer is because all three of them Chua de Soiled Leg, Hamid de Lowbar and Jala de netspinner have pawned and surrendered their nuts to UMNO for safe keeping so that there is no need to even squeeze any one’s nuts in order to do as told. The three have reached the pinnacle of their very existence for they have now achieved the status equivalent to puppets without the need for strings (because they can move without the strings being pulled) or lapdogs without needing the command of the master (because they can now directly read the mind of its master under a shared wavelength). Being the master of flip flop, Najib is indeed a very good sifu to its disciples, and the three are practising the acquired art of flip flopping with great skill. Bravo!!!

    Like

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