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Chong happy with decision on Mazu statue

KOTA KINABALU, 8 May 2009: Former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said he was happy with the state government’s decision to approve the construction of the Goddess of the Sea (Mazu) statue in Kudat.

“I hope the project will run smoothly,” he said.

Chong was asked to comment on State Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai’s statement yesterday that the government had, in principle, approved the application by the FT Hainan Association of the Hainan Federation of Sabah and Labuan for a piece of land in Kudat.

According to Yee, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had instructed four Chinese Malaysian leaders — Yee himself, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Peter Pang and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Edward Khoo — to oversee the construction of the statue and ensure it goes smoothly.

However, Chong said the four leaders were duty bound to explain first “why his own project was approved and subsequently cancelled”.

On the call by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to settle the ongoing civil suit over the construction of the aborted Mazu statue in Kudat out of court, Chong said he would meet the Prime Minister over the matter soon.

The issue turned into a court battle when Chong filed a suit against Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and three others over the state government’s decision to rescind the approval given to build the statue.

In his originating motion filed on 12 Dec last year, Chong is seeking a court order to revoke the withdrawal of the letter of approval issued by the Kudat Town Board on 15 Nov 2007.

He is also seeking a declaration that the letter of approval issued by the Kudat Town Board on 8 Feb 2006, is valid and binding on all the parties.

Responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz’s statement that an offer of RM2 million compensation to Chong for the relocation of the statue two years ago still stands, Chong said: “Nazri is in West Malaysia and he did not really know the whole issue”. — Bernama

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