State Exco Member And Opposition Leader Cross Swords In Penang Assembly Over Taman Manggis Issue

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GEORGE TOWN, May 14 – The first day of debates at the Penang state legislative assembly sitting on Friday morning, State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Dato Keramat) and Opposition leader Jahara Hamid (Umno-Telok Ayer Tawar) crossed swords over controversial sale of the Taman Manggis land issue. 

In replying to a question during the oral questions session, Jagdeep accused the former Barisan Nasional (BN) state government of not going through with the second phase of the Taman Manggis Peoples’ Housing Project (PPR). He said the state government under BN had directly rejected an application by the Federal Land Commissioner to develop the portion of land.

“Besides that, what you told the media while being interviewed a day before showed you had ill-intention, and indirectly incited the people to participate in the flash mob and demonstration on Mar 25 in front of the Taman Manggis land. You had painted a picture that the state government is not sensitive towards the plight of the poor for housing,” Jagdeep said.

In the meanwhile, he also said that it was decided in a State Executive Council meeting on March 28, 2007, and affirmed on April 4 the same year. He said this is clear that the Penang Government under BN had no plans to develop the remainder of Taman Manggis PPR. 

Jagdeep then asked Jahara if she remembered the decisions on the PPR made at two exco sessions in 2003 and 2005, where the project was deferred, as she was a State Executive Councillor then. Jahara told the august house: “No, I do not remember. I’m not a robot. Show proof that I had incited the people.” It then led to a shouting match between the two before Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang called for order in the house.

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