Even ‘Tokong’ cannot appease the spirits of the dead

Tokong has a moral obligation to ensure that the SCI leaves no stone unturned. He must make public the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) employed by the One-Stop Centre Committee (OSC) when assessing risk factors for development projects. The public has a right to know what compelled the committee to ignore the DoE’s findings. Until he does that, he can never appease the souls of Bangladeshis who are now seeking restitution of the dignity stolen from them under the state’s foreign apartheid system.

THE THIRD FORCE

Lim Guan Eng is a foreign apartheid specialist.

The Penang Chief Minister is in cahoots with developer Taman Sri Bunga Sdn Bhd to conceal the disappearance of illegal Bangladeshi nationals. Last Tuesday, The Third Force revealed that as many as nine Bangladeshis may yet be buried at a Tanjung Bungah construction site. It seems the Chief Minister agreed with the developer to a ‘missing persons’ list that deliberately omitted the names of those Bangladeshi nationals.

Ever since news of a landslide that struck the site first broke, Guan Eng denied his administration was at fault. He religiously maintained that the tragedy was a worksite accident and not the result of administrative negligence. However, he has yet to explain how he arrived at such a conclusion, given that an official probe into the tragedy hasn’t even begun.

Yes, the Chief Minister seems to already know the results of a State Commission of Inquiry (SCI) that has yet to see the light of day. But that hardly comes as a surprise to me. Unbeknown to many, he secretly agreed with the developer on the direction the SCI would take. You see, the Chief Minister cannot afford anyone discovering the kitchen door deals he entered with the developer just to get the project approved.

More than that, he knows that his administration can never justify its decision to ignore a rejection letter issued by the Department of Environment (DoE). While he blames the DoE for not requesting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), TTF has proven that an assessment of such nature was never warranted in the first place (READ HERE). So you see, the Chief Minister will say just about anything to convince you the DoE is at fault.

His plan is simple.

By zeroing in on the DoE, he will keep investigators from discovering the bodies of illegal Bangladeshi workers currently buried at the site. Should the authorities find these bodies, they would immediately launch an in-depth probe into Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) employed by the state and the developer’s company. Under the circumstances, they are bound to discover the ‘go ahead’ Guan Eng issued the developer even before the DoE was done scrutinising documents.

Yes, there is a lot of stuff Guan Eng does not want you to know.

Which is why, the SCI he announced on Wednesday will focus only on ‘proving’ the landslide was a worksite accident. There is not going to be a discovery into his administration’s methods or those of the developer. The Chief Minister will make absolutely sure that people like Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu keep ten-foot pole distances from the SCI or any of its members.

And that brings me to my point.

If indeed the DAP-led administration claims to be Competent, Accountable and Transparent (CAT), Guan Eng should never hesitate to probe each and every claim I just made above. Yes, the onus is now on the Chief Minister to make sure the SCI is allowed to dig into his affairs the way Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak allowed a Special Task Force to dig into his (Najib’s).

I mean, can you imagine what would happen if the tables were turned? Can you imagine a landslide occurring somewhere in Pahang at a hillslope construction the Prime Minister approved? Do you know what Lim Guan Eng’s father would do?

The senior Lim would immediately call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate all possible elements of criminal negligence. He would make a helluva fuss and demand to know what steps Najib took to prevent the disaster. Now, would the senior Lim have kept quiet if Najib declared the tragedy to be a worksite accident?

Not a cat in hells chance.

So how can Guan Eng expect me to keep quiet? How can I allow his many collusions with the developer to escape the pillars of justice? Do you not want to see the Chief Minister charged in court with involuntary manslaughter for causing the deaths of innocent people? Do Malaysians not feel for the 20 Bangladeshis who lost their lives trying to feed some very hungry mouths back home?

Yes, Tokong has a moral obligation to ensure that the SCI leaves no stone unturned. He must make public the SOP employed by the One-Stop Centre Committee (OSC) when assessing risk factors for development projects. The public has a right to know what compelled the committee to ignore the DoE’s findings. Until he does that, he can never appease the souls of Bangladeshis who are now seeking restitution of the dignity stolen from them under the state’s foreign apartheid system.

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