Opposition SAPP has chastised Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Dr Yee Moh Chai for his 'flimsy excuses' and 'refusal' to protect land for the public on grounds that he 'is not God'.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Dr Yee Moh Chai has come under fire for double talk with his remark that he cannot promise that the historical site of the High Court in the city will remain untouched by developers.
Yee said he simply could not tell the people that nothing would happen to the land that is occupying a prime spot in the city centre in future as he “is not God”.
Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee, president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), one of the main state opposition parties, however, was not amused by the sardonic remark.
“Nobody is asking Yee to be like God. We only ask that you do your job as wakil rakyat. Nobody asks you to make a promise to last 50 or 100 years.
“The people only want your promise today that your government protect the downtown Kota Kinabalu High Court and adjoining land for public purpose only,” he said yesterday.
He said Yee was misleading the people by assuring that the land would be protected simply because there is no development plan submitted to Kota Kinabalu City Hall yet.
“If there is no development plan today, it does not mean there will be no development plan tomorrow. What is so difficult for Yee to promise that the land concerned will be protected for public purpose?
“What is so difficult for him to promise that the land will not be given to private commercial developers for profits?
“Why can’t Yee make a simple statement that the five pieces of downtown land in his Api Api constituency will not end up like the Sabah State Railway reserve, which has now fallen into the hands of a Kuala Lumpur private company?
“Is Yee hiding something from the people or is he sleeping on his job? The longer he dodges the issue, the more people will suspect his hidden agenda,” said Yong when visiting the site of the City Library which has been closed since January.
‘Yee’s flimsy excuses’
The former chief minister reminded Yee that he has been assemblyman for Api Api for 14 years and a minister for nine years and is now a deputy chief minister and should be privy to decisions regarding the future of the city.
“Duty requires you to speak up and fight for the interests of the people in your constituency,” Yong said, adding that it was absurd that Yee had justified his refusal to protect the land for the public on the grounds that he cannot assure that nothing will change in 50 or 100 years.
“This is another ridiculously flimsy excuse which exposes his guilty consciousness.
“Look at Merdeka Padang and Atkinson Tower, which are more than 100 years old.
“The whole idea of heritage conservation is to keep the historical sites public spaces permanently in order to protect public interests, the character and culture of the city and the country,” Yong said, adding that “all over the world, there are many historical sites and public parks which are more than a thousand years old”.
He also stressed that the people must come forward to make sure that public lands are protected for public purpose, before it is too late.