by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang,in Petaling Jaya on Thrusday, January 26, 1995:
I will visit Gua Musang to meet the Tanah Putih illegal farmers on February 5 to find out about their land problems
The MCA leadership has at large conceded its irresponsible tactics in trying to sabotage and thwart the DAP National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices in Kuala Lumpur on January 8 by spreading the lie that 1,000 acres of 500 Chinese smallholders at Tanah Putih, Gua Musang had been acquired by the Kelantan State Government under the Land Acquisition Act without compensation as it has not only failed to produce documentary proof to substantiate such an allegation, but dared not repeat such an allegation any more.
What the MCA leadership did not realise was that the DAP would have no hesitation in instituting legal proceedings against the Kelantan State Government if it had acquired land under the Land Acquisition Act without compensation, whether from Chinese and Malay smallholders, because this would clearly be unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
This is a poor reflection on the MCA leadership which is not prepared to take such a firm stand to defend the fundamental constitutional rights of all Malaysians, regardless of race, state or the government involved.
I am glad that from the latest statement of the MCA National Publicity Bureau, the MCA leadership has conceded that the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang case is not a Land Acquisition Act issue but a case of illegal farmers on state land.
Why can’t the MCA national leadership be honest and come out with a clear but statement of the nature of the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang case instead of trying to spread the lie to mislead the people into thinking that the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang case is another case of Land Acquisition Act abuses and injustices for which the January 8 National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices was convened?
Although landless farmers illegally occupying state land is a completely different case from Land Acquisition Act abuses and injustices, landless farmers who had invested their life-earnings for ten or twenty years in cultivation on state land should also be treated with justice and consideration.
This has always been the stand of the DAP over the years, and this is why the DAP had championed the right of the landless farmers for justice and fair play in the various states in the country in the last three decades, although in most of the cases, it was the MCA State Executive Councillors who were responsible for supporting the decisions to evict the illegal farmers sometimes without notice and under circumstances without compassion or humanitarian considerations.
Now that the MCA leadership has conceded and does not dispute anymore that the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang case is not a Land Acquisition Act case but a case of landless farmers illegally occupying state land, I am prepared to visit Tanah Putih, Gua Musang to find out the real nature of problem.
I have today sent a telegram to the Secretary of Gua Musang Branch of the National Smallholders Association, Cheong Tai Onn, asking him to arrange for a meeting for me to meet the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang illegal farmers in Gua Musang on Sunday, February 5, 1995 at 3 p.m. to understand their problems.
Cheong Tai Onn wrote to me in a letter dated 14th December 1994 but which did not reach me until 26 days later asking me to visit Gua Musang to understand the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang case.