GEORGE TOWN: A “100-table dinner” attended by prominent Chinese leaders in support of the Penang Chinese Clans Association’s (PCCA) tussle over the ownership of the “50, Love Lane” property saw the absence of DAP and PKR leaders.
At the dinner on Friday, PCCA president Chang Wei Lu vowed that the association will strive to raise the necessary funds to buy the property.
“It’s all right if the state doesn’t want to transfer the property to us, as we have the means and the support to buy it,” said Chang to thunderous applause during the dinner at the Chee Hoon Khor Moral Uplifting Society hall.
The association is at loggerheads with the state government over the ownership of the property. The state said it would transfer the property to PCCA for a token fee of RM1 if it could show proof of ownership.
The dilapidated property in the heart of George Town’s heritage city zone has an historical connection to the life and times of the notorious Ghee Hin triad of the 1800s.
The trustees overseeing the building have died, leaving behind a backlog of unpaid property charges amounting to thousands of ringgit.
PCCA had earlier raised funds to renovate and maintain another Ghee Hin-related property known as Meng Eng Soo Ancestral Temple along Rope Walk.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said the state should find a legal connection before it could hand over a historical shophouse it seized in 2014 to PCCA.
He said a snag had surfaced because PCCA did not have the necessary legal link to take over the shophouse.
Chang, in his speech, praised previous leaders of the Barisan Nasional government such as Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu and Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who he claimed were instrumental in helping Chinese associations and clans.
“We thrived during the reign of Barisan government and what is happening now would not have happened then,” said Chang.
The organisers allocated two tables for members of the DAP and PKR, but none turned up.
State Barisan leaders present included MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow and Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan.