Under construction: The former site of the Hulu Langat MCA division’s building along Jalan Sungai Chua in Kajang town. The building was demolished to make way for the MRT project.
IN the absence of issues to sustain the momentum of the campaign in the Kajang state by-election, the spotlight is now on the MCA building in town.
The almost completed building was demolished and the land that it was sitting on acquired for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project.
But DAP has turned it into a talking point by accusing MCA of pocketing the RM5mil compensation from the land acquisition.
On stage in Kajang on Tuesday night, DAP assistant publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching told the crowd in a ceramah that the compensation money belonged to the Kajang folk and that MCA must return the money to them.
The Kulai MP’s argument was that the land was allocated to MCA by the then Barisan Nasional state government for just RM6,900 while the party made millions of ringgit from it.
“This is government land and thus, belongs to the people and we want the RM5mil to be returned to the people,” said the 33-year-old lawyer, mimicking the style and tone of DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang on stage.
But angry MCA leaders are accusing her of not telling the real story, saying she should have revealed that 28 shoplots along Jalan Besar in Kajang were saved from demolition after MCA agreed to allow its 557.4 sq m plot to be acquired for the MRT project under an alternative alignment plan.
It was reported in July 2012 that the initial alignment had involved the 28 lots and the owners were up in arms against it when this was made known to them.
That is when MCA came in and agreed to the alternative alignment involving its land.
MCA central committee member Chew Kok Woh said: “Many people in Kajang are aware of the case but DAP has deviously manipulated the issue. Either she (Teo) hasn’t done her homework or she’s intentionally twisting the fact.”
Looking back, the land which MCA gave up had in fact housed the Hulu Langat MCA office and centre for over 30 years, which is a single-storey building.
It was government land and MCA was squatting on it for decades until the state government approved the party’s application for it in 2004.
Four years later, the party had funds to build a four-storey building on the plot, recalled Hulu Langat MCA chairman Lee Ban Seng. But it was not meant to be. Its construction costing more than RM1.5mil was 90% completed before it made way for the MRT project.
As the campaign for the by-election enters its last lap and political fatigue sets in, Teo is campaigning hard for PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is taking on MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.
The fight for the Chinese votes is crucial as it would determine the outcome of the Kajang by-election.