By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Parliament on Saturday, 21.7.1984:
Error in Privileges Committee Report on Fung Ket Wing and Harris Salleh
I had not wanted to comment on the Privileges Committee Report on Fung Ket Wing and Harris Salleh table in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, and to reserve my comments until the Dewan Rakyat debates the Report, which is expected to be on Monday, 23rd July 1984.
However, in view of the extensive reportage of the Privileges Committee Report, and a glaring error in the Report, I feel that in all justice and fairness, I should publicly draw attention to it.
The Committee of Privileges was referred to inquire into Fung Ket Wing and Harries Salleh, as the former said that Harries Salleh owned 70% of the land in Labuan, while Harris Salleh said he owned not more than 2% The committee’s brief was to ascertain who was telling the truth.
The Privileges Committee said that the total area of Labuan was 9,065 hectares, of which Datuk Harris owned 140.388 hectares, which is about 0.154 per cent. This is wrong, for 140.388 hectares out of a total of 9,065 hectares is not 0.154 per cent, but 1.54 per cent.
The committee further said that if Harris ownership of shares in companies that also owned land in the island was taken into consideration, the amount involved would be about 409 hectares or 4.5 per cent of total land on the island. This would be more than Harris Salleh’s claim that he had less than 2% of land ownership in Labuan.
Whether the Committee of Privileges was right to reject Harris ownership of shares in companies that also owned land in Labuan is something which the Dewan Rakyat would have to debate on Monday, for if these had been included, then Harris Salleh had not been telling the truth about his ownership in Labuan as well.