MPP chairman blasts former reps for stoking retaining wall dispute

Lo Khere Chiang

KUCHING, Jan 21: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang expressed disappointment, claiming that former Batu Kawah assemblywoman Christina Chew and former Stampin MP Julian Tan have made a disagreement over a retaining wall at Jalan Sungai Moyan, Batu Kawa even worse.

“I hope Mr Julian Tan and Ms Christina Chiew will stop pouring oil onto a fire that will only serve to build up anger and hatred between these two landowners and worse still, kill off any chances they might have of a friendly settlement between themselves,” said Lo.

The retaining wall issue arose when a houseowner and his developer neighbour has a disagreement over a retaining wall made by oil drums which spans over 134m in length and reached a height of 3.8m from the ground level.

The houseowner had sought help from Democratic Action Party (DAP). Tan and Chew went to the site and made a public statement that Lo was not assisting the houseowner to resolve the complaint.

In response, Lo was quoted as saying that MPP had no jurisdiction over land upon which no buildings have been built and advised the complainant to seek legal advice as the landowner did not submit any development plans on the land to the Land and Survey Department before building the retention wall and carrying out earth-filling.

Today, Lo issued a statement to make his stance clearer.

“I am astonished at how two intelligent beings can and will go to any extent to use a simple case of a retaining wall and turn it into a huge politicking opportunity for themselves.

“I suggest allowing the respective parties to cool down and then help them by talking sensibly and to ask them to use reasoning to resolve this misunderstanding for the good of all.

“Both Christina and Julian are former people’s representatives and ex-lawmakers who must be sensible enough to act responsibly for the good of society. There is no reason in acting senselessly which would thereabout bring out the worse in people.

“If Ms Christina Chiew and Mr Julian Tan were sincere about helping to resolve the landowners’ disagreements, they just have to put their heads together, approach the two landowners as two kind souls and act as an intermediary to help put the fire out.

“Instead, they are adding fuel to the fire to create an even bigger bonfire just so that they can call some attention to their own politicking prowess,” said Lo in his statement today.

Lo said there are laws to allow fair administration and justifiable enforcement of events to protect the rights of individuals.

“I have advised the landowner of the unauthorised construction of his retaining structure and that inaction on his part to follow procedures and failure to submit an engineering plan for his retaining structure might lead to legal action against him by his neighbouring landowner and even the council.

“I am still hopeful that both landowners will come to an amicable settlement,” said Lo. — DayakDaily