The DAP Candidate for Serdang State by-election, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, who is also DAP Organising Secretary, today (24.12.68) issued the following statement in reply to Mr. Michael Chen.
Mr. Michael Chen did not deny that before December 10, 1968, he had promised the three Yap families that they would be allowed to continue to live on their land, and grow their fruit trees.
Mr. Michael Chen talks about being a gentleman. Surely one of the qualities of a gentleman is to keep one’s promise.
Mr. Michael Chen said there is no law in Malaysia to compel the State Government to pay compensation to the three Yap families. But there is no law in Malaysia to forbid payment of compensation.
It is a question of social conscience and social justice. I know Mr. Michael Chen is a lawyer, and that the law has been made used off by the rich and privileged to bully the weak and the defenceless.
But we do not expect a government, which claims to look after the welfare and interest of its citizens, to bring out the law to frighten the ordinary folks who faced with hardship and deprivation of their homes and property.
I maintain that the State government is morally bound to pay compensation to the affected families at Puchong 13.m.s, and that any government with a social conscience could do it.
Mr. Michael Chen said he would try to get compensation for the three Yap families from the Malays who are moving into the land. I am not opposed to this move, if it is practicable. I only doubt its feasibility of Mr. Michael Chen could get adequate and reasonable compensation from the incoming Malay families, 9 around be the first to praise them.
The people of Puchong and the voters of Serdang and Damansara will be watching to see whether Mr. Michael Chen could fulfil his pledge to secure social justice for the affected families, by getting (i) alternative land sites with permanent titles for the affected families (ii) adequate compensation for the loss of their fruit trees and other expenses incurred.
I hope Mr. Michael Chen would not fail the families.