Sothinathan should be
thoroughly ashamed of himself and apologize for challenging a woman DAP MP,
Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah) to a fight outside the Chamber – first time in 50
years of Parliament
Media Conference (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
Deputy Minister for Natural
Resources and Environment Datuk S. Sothinathan should be thoroughly
ashamed of himself and apologize for challenging a woman DAP MP, Fong Po
Kuan (Batu Gajah) to a fight outside the Chamber yesterday during the
winding-up of the 2008 Budget committee debate on his Ministry, when he
was completely flustered and unable to reply in an exchange with DAP MPs.
The shameful conduct of Sothinathan is the first time in 50 years of
Parliament in Malaysia.
The fracas took place yesterday when he made a baseless charge against me
when I raised the widespread opposition of the people of Kedah to the
unfair, arbitrary and illegal increases of quit rent in the state.
Earlier during the debate, I had informed Parliament that 120,000
signatures regardless of race, religion and political beliefs, protesting
against the unfair Kedah quit land increases was presented to the Kedah
State Government on Sunday, and that the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment which has responsibility for co-ordination of land policy,
should ensure that the Kedah State Government is more responsible and
responsive on the issue.
When the signature campaign opposing the Kedah quit land revision was
launched by the Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall on 23rd May 2007 after a year
of fruitless protests, there were those who ridiculed the campaign as
unlikely to collect even a thousand signatures.
However, within two weeks it collected over 30,000 signatures while in
less than six months, there were 120,000 signatures from all races and
religions, reflecting the widespread opposition to the unfair, arbitrary
and illegal quit land revision in the Kedah state.
The main objections of the Kedah people to the quit land revision were
Firstly, the steep hike in the increase in quit rent to as high as 900%
when in other states the quit rent increases were in the region between
10% to 30%.
Secondly, the illegal revision, with the following examples cited in the
signature campaign memorandum:
klasifikasi tambahan khususnya tanah Bandar dalam Bandar kecil dan tanah
luar simpanan melayu adalah bertentangan dengan Seksyen 51(2) Kanun Tanah
Negara yang Cuma memperuntukkan tiga (3) jenis tanah iaitu: (a) tanah
bandar; (b) tanah Pekan; dan (c) tanah Desa.
Seksyen 52 KTN memperuntukkan tiga jenis penggunaan tanah sahaja
(ii) Bangunan; dan
Tetapi didapati jenis penggunaan tanah telah di sub-kategorikan kepada:-
(i) Bagi maksud Perindustrian - disub-kategorikan kepada industri berat,
industri ringan, industri serdehana, industri perkhidmatan, pelancongan
(ii) Bagi maksud Bangunan - disub-kategorikan kepada hiper market, tapak
stesen minyak, tapak hospitak swasta, tapak pendidikan swasta, tapak
rekreasi, rumah sesebuah, rumah teres, rumah berkembar dan sebagainya;
(iii) Bagi maksud Pertanian - tanaman jangka panjang, tanaman jangka
pendek, kawasan padi yang diwartakan sebahagian kawasan tuaian dua kali
yang dikenakan cukai taliair dan sebagainya.
dimana ianya jelas bertentangan dengan Seksyen 52(1) KTN.
Tanah luar simpanan Melayu
Kami mendapati bagi tujuan pembayaran cukai tanah kesemua tanah luar
simpanan melayu telah dikira sebagai tanah Bandar walaupun ianya
terletak di luar kawasan Bandar.
Dengan kewujudan klasifikasi ini, ia jelas bertentangan dengan Seksyen
51(2) KTN dan berbentuk diskriminasi.
Memperkira kenaikan-kenaikan pada nilai tanah disebabkan oleh kemajuan
Seksyen 101(4) Kanun Tanah Negara yang berbunyi:-
kuasa-kuasa yang diberi oleh seksyen ini Pihak Berkuasa Negeri janganlah
hendaknya memperkira kenaikan-kenaikan pada nilai tanah disebabkan oleh
In my speech, I had urged the
Federal Ministry in charge of land co-ordination in the country among the
various states to liaise with the Kedah State Government to be responsible
and responsive on the quit rent revision controversy or the Barisan
Nasional will face severe consequences in the next general election.
Unfortunately in his reply, Sothinathan chose to play politics by accusing
me of trying to “politicize” the issue, leading to a heated exchange where
MIC’s role as “slave” to UMNO, as proven by its cowed and submissive
responses to arrogant UMNO actions, like timing the recent UMNO General
Assembly on Deepavali and castigating Indian news vendors for taking a
holiday resulting in the Prime Minister’s UMNO Presidential speech not
been read the next day because it was a press holiday were cited.
It was in this exchange between Barisan Nasional and DAP MPs that
Sothinathan challenged Po Kuan to a “fight” outside the Chamber, which was
most disgraceful in setting a new Malaysian parliamentary record of a male
MP challenging a female MP to a “fight outside”.
If Sothinathan refuses to apologize, then Samy Vellu should direct him to
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman