by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, July 26,1991:
Ghafar Baba should explain why the Government is not prepared to make public the Cabinet ‘guidelines’ to ensure that the new Land Acquisition Amendment Bill will not result in abuse of powers?
The long statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, on the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill has not only failed to allay reservations about the unfettered powers of the Government in land acquisition under the new law, but has intensified fears that it would be the source of corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of-interest and unethical malpractices in the country.
Ghafar Baba has failed to give any satisfactory reason for excluding the Courts from its constitutional role to ensure that there is no abuse of power in government land acquisition actions.
The Land Acquisition Amendment Bill is a further usurpation of the powers of the Judiciary by the Executive.
DAP calls for the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill to be referred to a Select Committee before second reading to hold public hearings of public representations and views.
If the Government is so confident that the Bill is in the public interest, why should it be afraid of referring it to a Select Committee to hold public hearings on public views and opinions on it?
MCA Ministers have been claiming that the Cabinet had agreed on ‘guidelines’ which will ensure that there would be no corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of-interest and unethical malpractices under the Land Acquisition Amendment Act.
I call on Ghafar Baba to make public these so-called Cabinet ‘guidelines’. These ‘guidelines’ cannot be a very effective and meaningful if the Government is not prepared to make them public.