Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang; at the Malacca DAP State Anniversary Dinner held at Pay Fong Chinese Independent Secondary School Hall in Malacca on Friday, December 30, 1994 at 7.30 pm
The rescindment of four land acquisition orders by the Malacca State Government is a victory for the January 8 National Conference on Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices even before it is held
The rescindment of the four land acquisition orders by the Malacca State Government two days ago is a victory for the January 8 1995 National Conference, on Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices even before it is held.
The rescindment of the land acquisition orders is proof that the Barisan Nasional allegations that the DAP is exploiting the land acquisition issue are not only baseless, but confirmation that the DAP had been right in championing the cause of the people to fight against abuses and injustices of the land acquisition.
Two days ago, the Malacca chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Zin Abdul Ghani announced after the Malacca State Exco Meeting that the state government had decided to rescind the acquisition of 352 ha of land in four sites, namely 200 ha in Pulau Gadong for a new township, 120 ha in Air Salak for an industrial site, 20 ha in Pegoh for expansion of a golf course and 12 ha in Lubok Redan for Petronas gas pipeline project.
Mohd Zin said that the rescind order lies’ made after a survey showed that the acquisition had affected residential homes in the four areas.
It is most shocking that massive land. acquisitions had been undertaken without a proper survey by the State – Government as to whether any houses, buildings or houses of worship would be affected by the development.
This rescindment is the best proof of the rampant land acquisition abuses and injustices not only in Malacca, but in the various states in the country, whether in Johore, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Penang or Kedah.
How smallholders and villagers affected by land acquisition can become ‘participants and full partners of development’ important agenda of the National Conference on Land Acquisition Abuses and’ Injustices
The rescindment of the four land acquisition orders by the Malacca State Government should be an encouragement to all Malaysians who want to see radical changes and new approaches in the land acquisition law, policy and process where the smallholders and villagers affected by land acquisition are not made ‘victims of development’ but become ‘participants and full partners in the development process’.
The rescindment of the four land acquisition orders has made the proposed National Conference on Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices at the Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 8th January 1995 at 10 a.m. even more significant and important – as it has not only provided a sharp focus on land acquisition abuses and injustices but furnished a new agenda: how smallholders and villagers affected by land acquisitions for private development could become participants and full partners in the development process instead of becoming ‘victims of development’.
In actual fact, the Barisan Nasional Government had promised in 1991 that it would ensure that the ordinary people would not become victims of the development processes through arbitrary, inequitable and unfair land acquisitions.
This promise was given by Ghafar Baba when he was Deputy Prime Minister and in charge of the 1991 Land Acquisition Amendment Act which gave enormous powers to allow State Governments to acquire land, not merely for public purpose, but even for development by private companies and individuals.
At that time, there were widespread national object :ions and one of the promises given by Ghafar Baba to ensure that there would be no land acquisition abuses and injustices was that smallholders whose land are affected by land acquisition for private development projects would be given the right to take part in the development of their land.
This promise has been forgotten by all the State Governments, and this is why the time has come for the people to unite behind a national movement to demand the end of land acquisition abuses and injustices.
This is the reason for the convening of the National Conference on Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices in Kuala Lumpur at the Federal Hotel on January 8, 1995.
The National Conference on Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices on January 8 has four objectives:
1. to provide the first occasion in the country for victims of arbitrary, inequitable and unfair land acquisitions to make their grievances known to the people and nation, and seek public sympathy and support for their fight for justice and fair place and better protection of their constitutional right to property.
2. to provide a forum for concerned Malaysians and organisations including the various state Chinese Chambers of Commerce to express their concern about the abuses and injustices of the land acquisition law;
3. for political leaders regardless of party to understand and support the call for new land acquisition law, policy and process to ensure that smallholders and villagers do not become ‘victims’ of land acquisition development; and
4. to formulate new principles to end land acquisition abuses and injustices and ensure that smallholders and villagers become ‘participants and full partners of the development processes and not ‘victims of development’.