There is a new name for 'denial': Koh Tsu Koon. At his party's state conference, the 'out-of-favour' KPI minister hit out at his successor Lim Guan Eng for not telling the whole truth about the Kampung Buah Pala land issue.
“He has told only the partial truth, and is good in twisting facts about the issue.
“He said he had the chronology of the minutes during the state executive council meeting related to the issue by the previous government, but he had only revealed partial information.
“This is unfair, and if he wants, we can answer all his allegations. We had found solutions to the problems faced by the villagers but it was the Opposition that then tried to create problems,” he added.
Koh and his party leaders are still adamant that they did no wrong in the fiasco. Koh should have volunteered to tell the whole truth without even asking the permission of Lim Guan Eng. He is answerable to the people of Penang and the folks of Kampung Buah Pala.
Koh's insistence that the current state government should be blamed for the fiasco has only proven his irresponsibility as a former chief minister of the state.
Since Koh has volunteered, he should answer these questions:
1) Why was Kampung Buah Pala land taken from the villages although the land was held in a trust specially created to allow the descendants of the families to reside there?
2) Why did Koh allow the sale of the land to a cooperative of the state civil servants without seeking the approval/agreement/views of the residents?
3) Why was the land sold at a huge (50%) discount?
4) Did the ex-state government include the interest of the Kampung Buah Pala folks so that they can also benefit from the RM150 million redevelopment of the land?
Koh's record on accountability and transparency was controversial. The self-proclaimed 'Mr Clean' has more than just a sprinkle of dirt on his body.
Koh's reluctance to clear the air on Kampung Buah Pala will drive the last nail on the coffin for Gerakan. Koh should not even start talking about the PGCC and other dubious and costly land scams which may cost the state government millions of ringgit in court settlements.
Lim Guan Eng's vision to develop Penang may be a bit hazy but his commitment to run a transparent and clean government is undisputed. Then again, can any of us name the legacy of Koh's 18 years leadership of the state?
Koh said the party was training many young leaders who could take on Lim. Hopefully not those who had made several MACC and police reports against Lim for not wanting to disclose the address or the tenancy contract of his temporary rented home.
Some of his 'highly enlightened young leaders' even insinuated that Lim should catch the white ants infested his official residence on his own to prove that he was capable of running the state.
The fact that the PM has appointed a new KPI minister shows that it is better for Koh to focus on his own performance or risk being booted out in the next cabinet reshuffle.