Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at a dialogue with residents of Pantai Kundor and Pantai Tanah Merah surau, Malacca on Friday, 30th September 1994 at 9 a.m.
Call on Zin to meet directly with the affected kampong people at plantain Kundor and Pantai Tanah Merah to resolve their problem arising from the compulsory acquisition of their ‘tanah warisan’ for Petronos refinery.
Mohd. Zin, who is now carrying out the duties of the Malacca Chief Minister, should meet directly with the affected kampong people at Pantai Kundor and Pandai Tanah Merah to resolve their problem arising from the compulsory acquisition of their ‘tanah warisan’ for Petronos refinery.
It is regrettable that after assuming the responsibility of carrying out the duties of the Malacca Chief Minister, Mohd Zin had not met the residents of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah.
Mohd Zin had alleged that the people of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah are armed with weapons. Mahd Zin had been completely misled to make such unfair and totally unwarranted allegation.
I am sure the police can vouch for the people of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah that they are ordinary kampong people who harbour no animosities against the government or inclinatiom towards violence and defiance of the law.
Undoubtedly, the people of Pantai Kundor and Tabah Merah must be ‘armed’ for them to flight the historic battle against the Malacca State Government for the unfair acquisition of their ‘tanah warisan’ but here are not ‘armed’ with knives, parangs or rifles, but ‘armed’ with the righteous sense of justice, as well as ‘armed’ with the support of the support of he people in Malacca and Malaysia who support their just cause.
If Karpal Singh and I, who have returned to Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah tonight to see for ourselves the latest situation in these two kampongs, free very safe to visit Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah, why should UMNO leaders, including Mohd Zin who is carrying the duties of the Malacca Chief Minister feel so unsafe to visit the kampong people in Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah.
When DAP leaders feel safe to visit the people in Malay kampongs while UMNO leaders feel unsafe, something is very wrong with UMNO
When DAP leaders feel safe to visit the people in Malay kampongs, while UMNO leaders, even top government leaders, feel unsafe to do so, then something is very wrong with UMNO!
I urge Mohd Zin to personally visit Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah and met the kampong people to understand and resolve their problems. I am sure that police can guarantee his safety. If the police cannot guarantee his safety, the DAP is prepared to fully guarantee Mohd Zin his full personal safety in his visit to Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah, and I am Prepared to execute a full legal bond to guarantee him such safety, for we have full confidence that the kampong people will behave with full civility and respect for Mohd Zin although they are the victims of the most unfair land acquisition policy.
The people of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah, just like other people in similar position who face unfair land acquisition problem, are not opposed to development. What they oppose is to become ‘victims of development’.
For the past month, I had kept in constant touch with the Malacca DAP elected representatives, Sdn. Lim Guan Eng, Sdr. Sim Tong Hin and others, on the situation in Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah and been in constant discussion with Karpal Singh.
Like the people in Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah, we have waited for over one month for the authorities to re-connect water, power, postal and telephone services while awaiting the final outcome of the legal case instituted by the people in these two kampongs for a court injunction to stop the forcible land acquisition or to pay fair and reasonable compensation.
However, although there had been various promises by the authorities about the re-connection of basic services to Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah which were severed on August 18, nothing had come to pass.
The people of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah are very patient people to go without these basic facilities for so long, but all patience must have a limit.
Sdr. Karpal Singh and I feel that the authorities have been too unreasonable in not re-connecting the basic facilities for so long, and even patience have run out.
It is time therefore for the people of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah to make application in court for the re-connection of the basic services in these two kampongs until the full settlement of the legal action b the kampong people in the courts – which could take a few months.
DAP calls for amendment of Land Acquisition Act to ensure that the people do not become ‘victims of development’
The people of Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah have created ‘history’ in their courageous fight against an unfair and unjust Land Acquisition Act, and has helped make the people of Malaysia more conscious of the injustice of such an act, which makes the ordinary people, including kampong people, the ‘victims’ rather than the ‘beneficiaries’ of development.
DAP MPs have decided to place the unjust Land Acquisition Act and its oppressive features high on the agenda in the budget meeting of Parliament next month.
The DAP will consider whether to move a private member’s bill to amend the Land Acquisition Act to give greater protection to the ordinary people better protection of their rights and to make sure that they do not become ‘victims of development’.