(The city’s own Chinatown is along with the tourist spot, Petaling Street. This was the place where I bought my first true SLR and this is also the place where we used to go for new clothes for Deepavali. Image source: http://www.backpackingmalaysia.com)
If you ask me, it is rather hilarious!…
From theSun’s headline that screamed “Chinatown Saved”:-
About 30 buildings in Chinatown need not make way for development of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project. However, they will have to be vacated for about six months to facilitate underground work.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek announced the news at a press conference today at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) headquarters after a meeting with its chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, its CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal, representatives from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd and members of the Jalan Sultan building owners ad-hoc committee.
This reminded me of this post by Patrick Teoh titled “Conspiracy Theory 101” where he said:-
But just the other evening a friend told me, “Hiyah! No need to shout so much la. It’s just a show only. It’s part of Umno/BN strategy to regain some Chinese votes ma.” Huh? How? Simple what. You just wait a few weeks and see. This is how it will happen.
The Chinese flers in Petaling Street will continue to get pissed about things. The PR flers will make more statements condemning the Umno/BN government for not being sensitive to this, that and the other. And then…………
Chua Soi Lek and the “knights” of the MCA will ride in and announce that they have petitioned the government, on behalf of the Chinese community, to re-think the MRT and Chinatown acquisition plans.
Then, Najib or Nazri or one of those flers who happens to be not on holiday at the time, will say OK! Then CSL will tell the Petaling St. flers, “See? Only MCA can give Chinese flers good representation in Parliament ma.
So vote for us lor. By the way, can give more discount on that gold Lolex ah?”
So, it does look like that prediction came true! And if one is looking for the real saviour of Chinatown, it has to be this:-
The government had previously insisted on acquiring all the buildings as the Land Acquisition Act stipulates that property must be acquired before any construction work can begin, even for underground railway development as under the law, ownership of a building includes the land below.
However, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun mooted the idea that the government acquire only the land beneath the buildings and provide the owners with stratum titles to allow the MRT to run below without acquiring the land above.
By the way, MP Fong Kui Lun is from Pakatan Rakyat. Wonder who will end up getting the credit of saving one of the key heritage areas in the city?