by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 23rd June 1994:
Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim should direct all Mentri-Mentri Besar and Chief Ministers to ensure a fair compensation or resettlement scheme for affected people before State Governments initiate any eviction notices because of privatisation deals or compulsory land acquisitions
Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should direct all Mentri-Mentri Besar and Chief Ministers to ensure a fair compensation or resettlement scheme before State Governments initiate any eviction notices because of privatisation deals or compulsory land acquisitions.
The Johore State Government’s privatisation of Jalan Haji Manan in Kluang for a RM380 million commercial and residential complex at the 60 hectare site is a good illustration, where the 4,000 people in the 501 houses affected by the project have not been given any fair compensation or resettlement scheme before the State Government initiated eviction action.
In a notice dated May 30 this year, the Jalan Haji Manan residents were given one month notice by the Johore State Government to vacate their premises by June 30.
This was the first official notice that the Johore State Government had given to the Jalan Haji Manan residents that they must give way for the RM380 million commercial and residential complex which the Johore State Government had privatised to a private company.
To give the 4,000 people only one month notice to vacate their premises is highly irresponsible, because they are not illegal squatters but T.O.L. holders with a history of seventy to eighty years at Jalan Haji Manan. In my visit to Jalan Haji Manan on Tuesday, I met one resident in his sixties who had been born there – and I will not be surprised if there are those who are seventy or eighty years old who were born there too.
The houseowners at Jalan Haji Manan paid quit rent for their TOL to the State Government every year till 1992. From 1983-86, the State Government had also suspended collection of quit rent for three years, but subequently resumed the TOL quit rent collection together with the arrears for those three years.
The Jalan Haji Manan occupiers also paid assessment rates for this year.
Under the circumstances, the legal position of the 4,000 Jalan Haji Manan people cannot be questioned, and to give one month notice for the shops to wind up their business for decades and to give the owners and tenants 30 days to find alternative accommodation without any compensation settlement is a most high-handed and oppressive action.
Although the quit notice has now been extended till after June 30, Anwar Ibrahim should call up the Johore Mentri Besar to explain how the Johore State Government could give one-month quit notice to evict the 4,000 people at Jalan Haji Manan in Kluang – when they had been staying there for as long as 70-80 years and been paying TOL quit rent and assessment rates
I propose to raise this scandalous one-month eviction notice to the Jalan Haji Manan people in Parliament next mouthy for no government which claims to be ‘caring’ would do such a thing.
Anwar Ibrahim should also direct the State Governments to make public all details of privatisation deals entered into by the State Government with the private sector where the rights of the people are adversely affected – as in this case, the 4,000 people in Jalan Haji Manan in Kluang.
Privatisation of the 60 hectares of Jalan Haji Manan should not be carried at the expense of the 4,000 people in the area.
Federal Government should intervene to require all State Governments to impose a condition of fair compensation or resettlement before privatisation of land or acquisition of land for private development
Up to now, the State and local authorities have not made public the details of the proposed commercial and residential development at Jalan Haji Manan in Kluang, and nobody knows whether the the developer, JU-ICHI ENTERPRISE SDN. BHD., had submitted its building plans for approval by the Kluang Timur District Council, and whether approval had been given, and if so, what are the conditions.
Before the developer is allowed to take further action, it should be required to announce all these details.
DAP takes a very serious view of the increasing number of cases in various states in the country where the interests of the ordinary people had been disregarded when State Governments privatise large pieces of urban land for development or where they compulsorily acquire land for private development.
The Federal Government should intervene before ‘more abuses are committed by requiring all such privatisations or compulsory land acquisitions to give fair compensation or resettlement schemes to all those who would be adversely affected by these projects.
The Johore Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhyideen, should direct the withdrawal of the eviction notices issued on May 30, and arrange for the state authorities, the developer and the affected people to have a full dialogue to reach an amicable settlement.
The DAP has formed a Monitoring Committee to ensure fair compensation or resettlement for the 4,000 people affected by the Jalan Haji Manan Privatisation comprising. DAP MPs and State Assemblymen, namely MP for Pasir Pinji, Kerk Kim Hock (Chairman) and Johore Assemblyman for Jementa, Wong Peng Seng, Johore Assemblyman for Bekok, Pang Hock Liong and Malacca Assemblyman for Tranquerah, Sim Tong Hin.
DAP is prepared to help the Jalan Haji Manan residents in Kluang to file legal action for an injunction to stop any eviction unless the state authorities and the developer give a fair deal to the affected residents.