Press Conference statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, December 1, 1994 at 11.30 am
DAP gives Wong See Wah 48 hours to apologise to the 600 smallholders affected by Seremban II project land acquisition for telling parliament yesterday that the smallholders have told lies and completely misinformed me about the land acquisition controversy
In parliamentary yesterday, I had challenged the MCA Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and MP for rasah Datuk Wong See Wah to explain why the MCA had failed to protect the legitimate rights of the 600 smallholders in Mambau, Rasah and Labu whose 2,234 acres of land are being inequabily, unfairly and arbitrarily acquired by the negeri Sembilan state government for the Seremban II project.
I had also criticized the MCA Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for being totally impotent as what Wong See Wah had offered to the smallholders as compensation was only a fraction of what the negeri Sembilan Land office had offered much earlier to the smallholders, although it was made orally.
When repeatedly challenged to declare the MCA position on the Seremban II project land acquisition controversy, Wong See Wah was finally forced to stand up in parliament to give his explanation.
However, Wong See Wah made the wild accusation that the 600 affected smallholders in the Seremban II project land acquisition controversy had lied by giving me completely false information which I had later raised in Parliament.
Between believing Wong See Wah or the 600 affected landowners, I have no hesitation in choosing to believe the affected smallholders.
I give Wong See Wah 48 hours to explain how the 600 affects smallholders in negeri Sembilan had lied to me and caused me to misinform parliament about the land acquisition controversy.
I had said that in July this year, the first batch of 44 landowners were summoned to the land office and told of the offer of compensation which averaged from RM27,000 to RM30,000 per acre although the highest offer was for RM50,000 per acre for one particular case.
The affected landowners were told orally that if they did not object to the land acquisition compensation, the government would increase the quantum of compensation to the range between RM43,000 to RM60,000 per acre.
However, all the affected smallholders whose land were being acquired objected, as the state government had never made any prior announcement about such a massive project as the new Seremban Town II project, and it was clear that it would be a favoured private developer who would reap huge profits from the project.
According to one calculation, the developer stands to net profits to the tune of billions of ringgit from the Seremban IT Project.
The affected landowners sought the help of the MCA and met the MCA Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister;s department Datuk Wong See Wah four times, before they decided to demonstrate outside the egri Sembilan menteri besar’s office yesterday. Instead of getting more help, all that Wong See Wah could offer the affected landowners was the return to the original compensation quantum averaging RM27,000 to RM30,000 for most landowners together with a ten percent increase, this is very much less than the oral offer to increase the quantum of compensation to $43,000 to RM60,000 if the affected landowners relinquish all rights to objection.
I had related the above facts of the Seremban II project land acquisition controversy in parliament last week when I had wanted to adjourn the Dewan Rakyat to discuss the issue.
If Wong See Wah cannot prove the smallholders had lied to me about the Seremban II project land acquisition controversy and is not prepared to apologise within 48 hours, I will propose in Saturday night that the smallholders should take firm action against Wong See Wah.
If these facts are wrong as claimed by Wong See Wah, why didn’t the MCA Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s department have the courage to say so openly in parliament last week, instead of making defamatory insinuations yesterday after he was forced to declare the MCA’s stand on the issue.
If Wong See Wah is unable in the next to prove that the above facts were wrong, and that the 600 smallholders had told lies by misinforming me about the land controversy, then Wong See Wah should publicly tender his apology to the smallholders concerned.
I will be having a meeting with the smallholders affected by the Seremban II land acquisition project in Mambau on Saturday night which would be after the expiry of the 48-hour deadline.
If Wong See Wah cannot prove that the smallholders had told lies to me about the land acquisition controversy and caused me to misinform Parliament about the issue and does not apologise for making such baseless charged against the smallholders in the next 48 hours, then I would propose to the smallholders on Saturday night that they should take firm action against Wong See Wah for publicly trying to sabotage their fight for justice by telling untruth against the smallholders in Parliament.