GEORGE TOWN – The state government should stop insisting on proof of direct connections to justify transferring historical house 50, Love Lane, to Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC).
Penang Barisan Nasional said in a statement that it was appalled that PCCC was given the run-around for five years despite reaching an understanding with the state government in 2012.
“The issue is not about proof that PCCC has beneficiary ownership of this house.
“The council had an understanding to allow the state government to confiscate 50, Love Lane, and then give it to PCCC.
“But the promise was broken. Instead, the state wants PCCC to show proof that it is the beneficial owner.”
The statement was signed by state Barisan and Penang Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow and state MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng.
Yesterday, they visited the sealed house with party members and held a press conference at the corner of Love Lane and Muntri Street.
The statement added that the 2012 understanding was arrived at with the aid of the state exco member in charge of Local Government, which is Chow Kon Yeow, though he was not named.
“Instead of lending a helping hand, the state government has stressed out the PCCC and made the council’s rightful request look unreasonable.”
PCCC is due to meet officials from the Northeast District Office soon to negotiate the transfer of the house.
In a letter dated Aug 11, the district office requested PCCC’s lawyer to furnish documents showing direct connections between 50, Love Lane, Meng Eng Soo Temple in Jalan Pintal Tali and PCCC.
The house and the temple are said to be historically connected to Ghee Hin, an influential Chinese society that played a major role in Penang’s history.
The trustees of both these properties died without assigning new trustees, and while PCCC managed to restore and care for Meng Eng Soo Temple, it has been unable to revive 50, Love Lane because the state seized it in 2014 over unpaid property charges.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he would respond to Barisan’s call if necessary after looking at the statement. – The Star Online