by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 10th February 1995;
MCA has told the most number of lies on one issue in the Tanah Putin land issue and is proof that MCA is not bothered about the rights and plight of Tanah Putin farmers and MCA members but using them only as a political weapon against the DAP
The MCA has set a new political record in telling the most lies on the Tanah Putih, Gua Musang land issue in the past month.
This is the best proof that the MCA national leadership is not bothered about the the rights, interests and plight of the Tanah Putih farmers, 98 per cent of whom are MCA members, but only in using them as a political weapon against the DAP.
The whole MCA propaganda campaign on Tanah Putih land issue is based on lies and falsehoods.
There are at least five lies in the first MCA statement by the MCA National Publicity Bureau which appeared in the newspapers on January 7, 1995 – on the eve of the DAP National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices.
These five lies are:
(1) That the Tanah Putih land case is an instance of Land Acquisition Act abuses and injustices like the Gelang Patah case in Johore Bahru, Seremban II case in Negri Sembilan, Pantai Kundor, Paya Mengkuang and Kuala Sungai Barn cases in Malacca, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport case in Selangor, the Batu Kawan case in Penang and the Kerpan and Bandar Aman Jaya, Sungai Petani cases in Kedah. In actual fact, Tanah Putih land case is not a Land Acquisition Act case, as the Tanah Putin fanners do not have titles to the land.
(2) That the land of 500 Chinese smallholders in Tanah Putih had been acquired by the Kelantan State Government. The figure which the Gua Musang Branch of the National Smallholders Association had officially used in its official correspondence is 150 and not 500.
(3) That in November last year, the Gua Musang Branch of the National Smallholders Association had written to me on their plight and to appeal for help. This is a downright lie as the Secretary of the Gua Musang Branch of the National Smallholders Association, Cheong Tai Onn, had admitted in the dialogue during my visit to Tanah Putih last Sunday that there was no such letter in November.
(4) That in December last year, the Gua Musang Branch of the National Smallholders Association had written to me a second letter about the Tanah Putih land problem and that I had ignored their appeal. This is again another lie. Cheong Tai Onn admitted in the dialogue with the DAP delegation that his Committee first took the decision to write to me on 14th December 1994, and that he did not sent the letter until the new year because he was unable to get the DAP Hqrs address in Petaling Jaya. In the event, the letter reached me 26 days after 14th December 1994 – well after the National Conference Against Land Acquisition Abuses and Injustices.
(5) That the Tanah Putih land were being ‘acquired’ by the Kelantan State Government completely without compensation. I understand that the Kelantan State Government had offered alternative land for housing lot as compensation. I agree this is grossly inadequate and does not take fully into account the opening and cultivation of Tanah Putih by the farmers for over two decades – but ‘inadequate compensation’ is different from ‘completely no compensation’.
If we take into consideration all the statements issued by the MCA in the past month since their first original statement, which contained at least five lies, the MCA would have told over a dozen lies.
I hope nobody in the MCA national leadership will challenge the DAP to enumerate all the lies of the MCA on the Tanah Putih land issue.
If the MCA leadership could establish the legal rights arid claims of the Tanah Putih farmers in a court of law, I would be the happiest man and I will publicly commend the MCA for it.
It is clear that the MCA national leadership is not only very free with their opinions, but has utterly no respect for facts which they have no compunction in concocting or distorting,
I am outraged that the MCA national leadership could be so cynical and irresponsible as to use the land issue of the Tanah Putih farmers, 98 per cent of whom are MCA members while MCA has 100 per cent membership in the Gua Musang Smallholders Association Committee, purely to score political points against the DAP instead of helping them to resolve their problems.
This is why the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the other MCA Ministers never visited the Tanah Putih farmers and MCA members in the past three years.
The MCA national leadership has another purpose in using the Tanah Putih land issue – to undermine and sabotage the DAP fight against land acquisition abuses and injustices.
Why can’t the MCA national leadership be as responsible as the DAP, as we are not only opposed to the abuses and injustices of the Land Acquisition Act, but want justice for the landless fanners as well!
The MCA national leadership has fooled long enough with the rights, interests and the plight of the Tanah Putih farmers and MCA members.
As the MCA national leadership insists that the Tanah Putih farmers and MCA members have legal rights and claims against the Kelantan State Government, they should stop playing politics and take all available action to vindicate and uphold the legal rights and claims of the Tanah Putih farmers and MCA members.
If the MCA leadership could establish the legal rights and claims of the Tanah Putih farmers in a court of law without the Tanah Putih farmers having legal title, I would be the happiest man and I would publicly commend the MCA for it.