Dao to invite MPs from all political parties, both Barisan Nasional and opposition, to a meeting next month to discuss the setting up of an All Party Parliamentary Committee on land acquisition abuses, injustices and reforms’


Press Conference statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on 29 November 1994 at 11.30 am

Dao to invite MPs from all political parties, both Barisan Nasional and opposition, to a meeting next month to discuss the setting up of an All Party Parliamentary Committee on land acquisition abuses, injustices and reforms’

The DAP well invite MPs from all political parties, both Barisan Nasional and opposition, to a meeting next month to discuss the setting up of an All Party Parliamentary Committee on land acquisition abuses, injustices and reforms.

Since the enactment of the 1991 Land Acquisition Amendment Act, government acquisition of private land for private development and profit-making has become one of the most unpopular measures in the country.

The people have no objection if private land is acquired by the government for a public purpose such as the building of schools, hospitals and government complexes, but it is most unfair, arbitrary and inequitable for private land to be acquired under the Act at cheap rates which are later sold to private companies and individuals for development where they can reap fantastic profits.

There must be a different compensation and consideration for these two type of land acquisition, whereby landowners have a right to expect not only higher compensation but an opportunity to participate in the joint venture development of their land where acquisition is intended for private development and not for public purpose.

Call on UEM to have dialogue with the affected smallholders at gelang Patah and Tanjong Kupang to give details of their development plan till 2020 and to offer then fairer compensation as well as opportunity to take part in joint venture in the development

The most glaring cases of such abuses of land acquisitions are the acquisition of 33,000 acres of private land at Gelang Patah and Tanjong Kupang for the Second Johore-Singapore Link and the second Johore Baru township, the acquisition of 2,234 acres at Mambau for the second Seremban township, the acquisition of the Paya Mengkuang pig rearing areas in Malacca, and other areas like Pantai Kundur, Pantai Tanah Merah, Ayer Salak and kuala Sungai Baru in Malacca.

In the case of Gelang Patah and Tanjong Kupang for instance, the Minister for Works Datuk Leo Moggie announced yesterday that the construction of the Second Link between Singapore and Malaysia is expected to be completed by the end or 1997. Malaysia has awarded the contract to build 1.7KM portion of the bridge and the highway connection the Link to Senai Airport and the North-South Expressway to United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM). Prolink development sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UEM, has been appointed the developer.

However, the several hundreds of smallholders whose 33,000 acres are being acquired for the Second Link and the second Johore baru township projects have not been given a decent deal with regard to the acquisition of their land.
Furthermore, I understand that UEM would need to acquire another 7,000 acres for their entire second Johore Baru new townsip project which will take up to the year 2020 for full completion.

The affected landowners are entitled to feel cheated and robbed of their property rights, because in 1990, when the price of their land was being offered at RM100,000 per acre, the Johore Mentri Besar tan Sri Muhhyidin yassin and the Information Minister Datuk Mohamed Rahmat advised them not to sell, on the ground that under the Second Link and the second Johore Baru township project, their land values would be very much higher.

However, these smallholders are now very shocked that after listening to the advice of the Johore Mentri Besar and Information Minister, who is the MP for that area, the compensation that the state government is now offering is only a fraction of the land value of RM100,000 per acre in 1990.

This can only mean that the UEM could be the main beneficiary for such a low compensation for the 33,000 acres of land in Gelang Patah and Tanjong Kupang to give details of their development plan till 2020 and to offer them fairer compensation terms no less than the market price of RM100,000 per acres in 1990 as well as opportunity to take part in joint venture development of their land.

These land acquisition issues must receive the immediate attention of MPs from all political parties, for it is parliament which must be held responsible for all land acquisition injustices as it is parliament which passed the Land Acquisition Amendment Act in 1991.

This is the reason why the DAP is proposing a meeting of MPs from all parties, whether Barisan Nasional or Opposition, to discuss the land acquisition abuses, injustices and reforms.

I hope that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed will give permission to allow Barisan Nasional MPs to attend this meeting and even to work with opposition MPs to eliminate land acquisition abuses and injustices, as well as to seek amendments and reforms of the Land Acquisition Act which will not make landowners the victims of development.

I will write to the Prime Minister for his clearance to allow Barisan Nasional MPs the permission to take part in such an All-party Parliamentary Committee to rectify land acquisition abuses and injustices.