Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP ceramah at Temiang, Seremban on the Land Acquisition Act on Friday, 24th February 1995 at 9 p.m.
Mohamed Isa should explain why the Negri Sembilan State Government acquired and took possession of 573 acres of land for the Nilai township project and assessed compensation of RM19 million but did not pay a single sen for over year
Recently, Barisan Nasional leaders have begun conceding that there had been gross abuses and injustices in government land acquisitions in the country.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said last month that there was one state government which acquired a plot of land and sold to a third party at a higher price. Although the state government concerned had been identified as the Negri Sembilan State Government, the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Mohamed Isa had not made any comments on this case.
Tonight, I want to ask Tan Sri Mohamed Isa to comment on another case of gross impropriety of land acquisition by the Negri Sembilan State Government.
In September 1993, the Negri Sembilan State Government acquired and took possession of 573 acres of land in the Nilai area and assessed compensation of RM19 million, which was contested by the landowner.
However, for over a year, the Negri Sembilan State Government did not make any payment of a single sen of the compensation as required by the Land Acquisition Act.
What is even more shocking is that the land concerned had meanwhile been privatised to a Negri Sembilan State leader for development and that this MCA State leader had sold part of the land to a foreign company at a very high price for industrial purpose.
If the State Government has no money, how could it acquire land, privatise it to a private company arid allow it to sell part of the land for a great profit even before the original landowner- had received a single sen of compensation?
This is clearly unjust, and improper and calls for a full explanation by the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar.
DAP calls on Mahathir to establish Royal Commission of Inquiry into land acquisition abuses and injustices
The time has come for the Prime Minister to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into land acquisition abuses and injustices.
Last week, the press gave extensive coverage to a legal suit instituted by plantation company, Stamford Holdings Sdn, Bhd., suing the Johore Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for conspiring with four others to compulsorily acquire its 6,600 acres of land in Johore, after the company had refused to comply with business terms on the private development, of the land given by the “Mokhtar Group” – i.e. comprising Muhyiddin, Syed Mokhtar and Datuk Yahya bin Haji Tahib, all of whom are defendants in the suit.
Stamford Holdings said that the ‘Mohtar Group’ had proposed that the company sell its 6,600 acres of land at RM30,000 per acre to a new development company to be set up and chat the group be given 70 per cent equity of the proposed firm.
Stamford Holdings refused this offer and wanted to sell the land at RM70,000 per acre with its shareholders, getting 70 per cent equity of the proposed company.
Quick calculation shows that the difference between RM70,000 and RM30,000 per acre for 6,600 acres is no ‘chicken-feed’ but would come to the colossal sum of RM264 million!
Stamford Holdings alleged that when it refused to accept the terms of the ‘Mokhtar Group’, the State Government gazetted notification to acquire the 6,600 acres under the Land Acquisition Act.
Although Muyhiddin had publicly denied the allegations and said that “there is not a single shred of truth in any of the allegations against me”, I am of the view that apart from the legal aspects of this case, public interest is also involved.
I had read the full writ filed by Stamford Holdings against Muhyiddin and of the view that it warrants a full investigation by a Royal Commission of Inquiry in Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices, as Muhyiddin and the ‘Mokhtar Group’ had also been accused by Stamford Holdings of making ‘a clean profit of RM83 million’ in connection with the development of another niece of its land involving 1,788 acres.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into land acquisition abuses and injustices should not only investigate into the Stamford Holdings land acquisition cases, but also into all other complaints about land acquisition abuses and injustices in the country.