by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, January 9, 1994:
I have sent the Resolution adopted by the National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices yesterday
I have sent the Resolution adopted by the National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices yesterday to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, requesting that it be brought to the attention of the Cabinet at its next meeting on Wednesday.
The National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices, held at the Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, was attended by over 1,000 landowners, smallholders and villagers from all over the country who had become victims of arbitrary, inequitable and unfair land acquisitions by State Governments, such as from Gelang Patah and Tanjong Kupang in Hohore over the Second Johore-Singapore Crossing and Second Johore Bahru township; the land acquisition issues in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Pantai Kundor, Tanah Merah, Air Salak, Kuala Sungai Baru, Paya Mengkuang, Pulau Gadong, Pegoh and Lubok Redan in Malacca; the Seremban II towship and the Nilai new township in Negri Sembilan; the Kuala Lumpur International Airport project in Selangor; the Kerpan tiger prawn project and the Sungai Patani new township in Bandar Aman Jaya, Sungai Patani in Kedah and the Batu Kawan new township in Penang.
The four-page Resolution contained four main messages to the Government, namely:
*Firstly, the spare of arbitrary, inequitable and unjust land acquisition abuses and injustices in various states is the direct result of the 1991 Land Acquisition Amendment Act which broadened the government’s land acquisition powers to include development by private companies and individuals;
*Secondly, the breach of the Barisan Nasional’s promises in 1991 that there would be no land acquisition abuses and injustices and but could not become partners and participants in the development of their land.
*Thirdly, the demand for the repeal of the 1991 Land Acquisition Amendment Act and the formulation of a new law on land acquisition which will strike a fairer balance, incorporating nine principles which make a clear distinction between land acquisition for public purpose and for private development and higher compensations in the latter case; recognition of the right to development by the original owners; provision of alternative land for housing by people affected by land acquisition; holding of public inquiry before implementation of any major project involving land acquisition and the establishment of a Land Acquisition Arbitration Tribunal.
*Fourthly, the freeze of all controversial land acquisition projects until formulation of such a new law or their resolution in accordance with the nine principles in the Resolution.
In my letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, I informed them that the National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices was a most historic and successful conference and showed the extent of public dissatisfaction and opposition to land acquisition abuses and injustices, which must be given serious attention by a Cabinet and Government which respect the needs and aspirations of ordinary rakyat.
UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and all Barisan Nasional Parties to declare their stand on the Resolution adopted by the National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices yesterday and in particular, on the Nine Principles for a more equitable land acquisition law, policy and approach to strike a fairer balance between development needs and the property rights of Malaysians and to ensure that landowners do not become ‘victims of development’ but become full and active partners in the development process involving their land.