Exco calls BN rep ‘liar’ during heated debate on PPR eviction

Families evicted from the Taman Manggis PPR flats camping out at Komtar in March.

GEORGE TOWN: A state executive councillor called an opposition member a liar during a heated debate on the recent eviction of six families from the PPR flats at Taman Manggis at the state assembly today.

Nor Hafizah Othman (BN-Permatang Berangan) had claimed that the state government did nothing to help the families who camped out at Komtar for a week in early March after they were evicted for being ineligible to rent the RM124-a-month flats.

Speaking during the debate on the motion of thanks for the governor’s address, Hafizah said no one came to help the families.

“They were removed from their homes without mercy, something the past government had never done.

“There were mothers who could not breastfeed their babies, yet the state government did not help,” she said.

At this point, the state executive councillor for welfare matters, Phee Boon Poh, stood up and labelled Hafizah a liar.

Phee (DAP-Sungai Puyu) said the state government had gone out of its way to help the families,including finding them replacement homes to rent.

He demanded that Hafizah show proof that the families had been mistreated.

Speaker Law Choo Kiang told Phee to sit but he refused and repeated his call for proof at the top of his voice.

Law then told Hafizah to back up her claims or move to a different topic. She then spoke on a different issue.

The Penang government had said it evicted the families from the Taman Manggis PPR flats after giving them more than six months’ notice. It said eviction was a last resort.

Those evicted had been found to be earning high salaries, and some had foreign spouses or had defaulted on their rent and maintenance fees.

One was even found found to have flown business class and lived a lavish lifestyle.

The prime minister’s political secretary, Abu Bakar Yahya, who had gone to talk to them while they camped out at Komtar, was at one point prevented by a crowd from leaving and had to escorted out by police and security personnel.

The families eventually agreed to accept an offer to rent homes elsewhere.