Penang developer told to resolve cross-shaped lights on condo, state assembly hears

The lighting in the shape of a cross, seen on a condominium building in Jelutong, Penang, earlier this year.

GEORGE TOWN: The developer of a condominium in Jelutong which stirred controversy earlier this year over lighting in the shape of a cross has been told to resolve the issue as it could hurt religious sensitivities, the Penang assembly heard today.

Pictures of Grace Residence, a 44-storey condominium near Jalan Ahmad Nor, showing the cross-shaped lighting went viral in January.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Dato Keramat) said the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) had been ordered to summon the architect for an explanation.

He said an early explanation from the developer on Jan 14 claimed the issue was a matter of coincidence and “was not on purpose”.

“The Penang government has ordered MBPP to hold discussions with the consultant architects and to tell them to come up with an overall solution to the cross issue as it involves religious sensitivities.

“The consultant architect is in the process of issuing a proposal to MBPP,” Jagdeep said in his reply to a question by Mohd Yusni Mat Piah (PAS-Penaga).

Yusni had asked if the Penang government knew that the Jelutong condominium featured a “big and bright” cross which he said could seriously affect Muslim sensitivities.

He also asked why such a sign had been put up and what the government has done about it.

On Jan 14, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow was reported as saying that the cross shape could no longer be seen in later pictures sent to him.

The following day, the developer reportedly said that the shape was not a cross but merely the Chinese character for “royal”.