By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, October 5, 1991:
DAP supports Sultan of Selangor in demanding a freeze in the golf course building mania in Selangor
DAP fully supports the Sultan of Selangor in his opposition to the mania of golf course building in Selangor.
The Sultan of Selangor has declared his opposition to the Selangor State Exco’s plan to build 50 golf courses in the state, and has said that as there are now 22 golf courses in Selangor, there should at most be another two or three. Development efforts should concentrate on directly benefiting the people, in terms of land, housing and basic amenities for them.
DAP supports the Sultan of Selangor and calls for an immediate freeze in the golf course building mania in Selangor, including the Lost Horizon golf course and condominium project which threatens the survival of Zoo Negara.
For the interests of the people and future generations, the hell-bent mania to swallow up more and more natural places in Malaysia – our hills, islands, beaches, parks and forest reserves – should be stopped, and the people should be given a chance to decide whether they want Malaysia to be turned into a ‘golf paradise’ for tourists, particularly Japanese businessmen, in their craze for membership of expensive and exclusive golf club resorts.
Ordinary Malaysians will pay a heavy price for the golf course mania for the benefit and enjoyment of a small golfing elite
It is the ordinary Malaysians who will have to pay a heavy price for the government’s objective to build 50 golf courses in Selangor and a few hundreds in the whole country by the year 2,000 as it is not the type of development which will benefit the majority of Malaysians, Ordinary Malaysians will suffer for the enjoyment and luxury of a small golfing elite, both local and foreign.
This is because a golf course resort club does not mean merely a 18-hole golf course, but beautiful lawns, swimming pools and exclusive resort facilities for those rich and wealthy enough indulge in the high-class condominium living in the golf resort.
What results is the great contrast between the millions who cannot afford decent housing in their own country, who have no decent playground for their children, suffering droughts and water rationing, while a handful can enjoy high living in golf resorts which are lit up extravagantly for golfers to play in the nights under high-powered lights, while fountains keep the golf courses green with unlimited use of water.
Now, we have reached a stage where Zoo Negara , as the playground of the young generation of Malaysians, must give way to golf courses to be the playground of the golfing elite.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said yesterday that the golf course and condominium projects near Zoo Negara should go on as long as they complied with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report.
The pertinent question is why did the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammed Haji Muhammad Taib and the Selangor State Exco give full approval for the golf course and condominium projects to proceed without first waiting for the approval from the Department of Environment (DOE).
The intensity with which the Selangor Mentri Besar defended and championed the golf course and condominium project instead of agreeing to allow the Department of Environment to first make its report seems to show that Tan Sri Muhammed and the State Exco have unusual interest in the golf course and condominium projects, This is most improper, irregular and even unlawful.
Anti-Corruption Agency should investigate why the Selangor Mentri Besar and State Exco give full approval for golf course and condominium project without waiting for approval from Department of Environment
DAP suggests that the Anti-Corruption Agency should step into the picture to investigate as to why the Selangor State Exco give its full approval for the golf course and condominium project when the Department of Environment had not given its approval to the project.
It seems that the developer of the golf course and condominium must have been given firm undertaking that it would have no problem in carrying out its project even though it would threaten the survival of Zoo Negara, to the extent that it could commit itself to great expenses for the project even before the DOE had given its approval. It would appear that to the developer and the Selangor State Government, the DOE’s role is completely irrelevant.
The people are entitled to know who are the real promoters of the golf course and condominium project, and the personalities and vested interests in the project should step forward into the forefront to justify their development.
Furthermore, the people would want to know when was the application to build the golf course and condominium first made to the Selangor State Government, and the date full and final approval was given by the Selangor State Exco.
It is only the people themselves who can save Zoo Negara, for the Selangor State Exco has proved that left to itself, it is always ready to sacrifice the interests of the ordinary people.
The Batu Arang case is a good example. In August, the Selangor State Exco accepted the Tan See Hang Batu Arang Evacuation report and decided that the 10,000 people in Batu Arang must be evacuated. However, as a result of the protest of the people of Batu Arang, who make clear their opposition to the shift, and the support given by the DAP to the people of Batu Arang, there is a now a change of scenario. Experts commissioned to make a new study of the Batu Arang sinkhole problem now say that many residents in Batu Arang would not have to move under a proposed zoning system which is being studied.
Whether Zoo Negara is saved and does not have to shift and give way to a golf course and condominium project is a decision that is in the hands of the people of Selangor and Malaysia.