Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, on Bukit China, Malacca on Sunday, 1st July, 1984 at 11am
Bukit China (8): DAP calls for suspension of Melaka Tengah District Officer for issuing the 12 million quit rant demand on Bukit China
The Melaka Tengah District Officer, Mohamad Khalis Moham d Dan, has said that all cemetries in the State are subject to quit rent unless they are exempted by the State Government.
I call on Mohamad Khalis to tell the people of Malacca and Malaysia what are the cemetries which have been exempted from quit rent, and the date the EXCO took the decision, and those which have not. I also call on the District Officer to make public the cemetries where the Government had issued a demand notice for 16 years of quit rent and fine late payments as in the case of Bukit China.
I find the statement by the District Officer that he does not know about a letter by the District Office dated Nov.9,1968, informing the Cheng Hoon Teng Corporation that taxes were not imposed on burial ground and that Bukit China did not have to pay quit rent, most shocking. How did the District Office check that Bukit China had not paid quit rent for 16 years without locating the letter of Nov.9,1968 by the District Office that Bukit China did not have to pay quit rent. Or has this letter of District Office of Nov.9,1968 mysteriously disappeared, as happened to documents on the College General seminary land from the land Office in Penang?
The District Officer should be suspended for issuing the $2 million quit rent demand, when on Nov.9,1968, the District Office had already told Cheng Hoon Teng Corporation that Bukit China did not have to pay quit rent, as this shows not only utter incompetence, but bad ^.
It is significant that the District Office’s reply of Nov.9,1968 was in response to a query by the Cheng Hoon Teng on the matter on April 10, 1968 a full five members earlier. It is clear the District Office must have sought the decision of the Exco on the matter for it to take five months to reply. I call on the MCA EXCO member in 1968, which I think is Datuk Tan Cheng Swee, to come forward and explain whether the EXCO took a decision to exempt Bukit China from quit rent.
In any event, the letter of the District Office of Nov.9,1968 ^ the State Government, and there is no justification whatsoever for the ^ quit rent demand on Bukit China, except as a pressure tactic to force Cheng Hoon Teng Corporation to give up Bukit China.
The Chief Minister, Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, should not hide behind the District Officer, and come forward openly to justify the State Government’s series of actions against Bukit China, in particular the $2 million quit rent demand. He should let every Malaccan and Malaysian know about the quit rent position or every cemetery in Malacca, in particular the Malay cemetries.