DAP calls for two Ministerial statements in Parliament tomorrow – one on the ten Malaysian global terrorists and the other on the RM250 million setback to the tens of thousands of small-time house-buyers to get justice in the uneven battle against housing developers
Media Conference Statement
- after the opening of the 2003 Penang DAP State Convention
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): DAP calls for two Ministerial statements in Parliament tomorrow – one on the ten Malaysian global terrorists and the other on the RM250 million setback to the tens of thousands of small-time house-buyers to get justice in the uneven battle against housing developers.
In another four days, it will be the second anniversary of the heinous September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington which killed some 3,000 innocent lives from over 60 different nations. On the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the world is even less safe and secure from terrorism with the incessant spate of bomb blasts in Jakarta, Mumbai, Iraq and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Recently, a national daily ran a “Global Malaysian” series to introduce Malaysians who have gone global, but ironically, they have all been overshadowed by ten Malaysian “global terrorists”, who made the front-pages today and international news after being blacklisted by the United States and have their assets frozen for being linked to Jemaah Islamiah – Sulaiman Abas, Dr. Azahari Husin, Zulkifli Abdul Hir, Lt. Kol (rtd) Abdul Manaf Kasmuri, Zulkifli Marzuki, Amran Mansour, Yazid Sufaat, Noordin Mohamed Top, Wan Min Wan Mat and Zaini Zakaria.
The Government should table a White Paper on Terrorism in Parliament, detailing the activities and connections of the alleged Kumpulan Militant Malaysia (KMM), Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaeda in Malaysia, including the roles of Hambali, the ten Malaysian “global terrorists”, the identity of Malaysians who are currently in US custody and the country’s international profile and notoriety for being associated with international terrorism.
The White Paper should explain why the Malaysian government has not put KMM and JI members on trial for the “inhumane and despicable crimes” they were alleged to have committed in Malaysia.
During the Ketari by-election in May 2002, the Barisan Nasional came out with a leaflet which alleged that the crimes committed by KMM and JI members included:
If the Indonesian authorities can put those responsible for the Bali bomb blasts last October which killed over 200 people, why is the Malaysian government lagging behind the Indonesian government in putting on trial those responsible for heinous crimes like murder and bombings?
The second Ministerial statement in Parliament tomorrow should be by the Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting on the RM250 million setback to the tens of thousands of small-time house-buyers to get justice in the uneven battle against housing developers, as a result of the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment on Thursday striking down the jurisdiction of the Housing Tribunal to adjudicate disputes over property bought before December 1 last year.
As of July 3 this year, a total of 2,209 cases had been filed with the tribunal, of which 438 had been settled and a total of RM2.4 million in compensation had been awarded to home-buyers. As a result of the High Court judgment, all these settlements have also become null and void with the small-time house-buyers standing to lose the RM2.4 million awarded to them by the tribunal.
But the losses suffered by the small-time house-buyers in the country could be as high as the staggering sum of RM250 million.
New Straits Times yesterday reported that according to inside sources, an average of 50 claims were filed with the tribunal since it came into effect on December 1 last year, which would mean that to date, there would be more than 5,000 cases. If the Housing Tribunal enjoys jurisdiction to deal with properties bought before Dec. 1, the total number of claims involving properties bought before Dec. 1 could be in the region of 10,000 to 20,000, or even a higher figure.
Although the claims to the Housing Tribunal are limited to a maximum of RM25,000 each, the total compensations involved for 10,000 claims would be in the region of RM250 million – a staggering sum and loss for small-time house-buyers in their uneven fight for justice against unscrupulous and recalcitrant housing developers.
Ong should explain in the Ministerial statement how a legislation specifically designed to protect house-buyers could end up in such a mess, giving no protection whatsoever to the house-buyers bought before December 1 last year, rendering all claims before the Housing Tribunal null and void, and the Housing Tribunal itself a “white elephant” without a single valid claim before it – as it is unlikely that disputes arising from properties bought after December 1 last year would have reached the stage of being filed as a claim to the Tribunal at this time.
Ong’s announcement that the government will appeal against the High Court decision and that the Attorney-General General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail would personally conduct the appeal is neither assuring, convincing nor impressive, as the Attorney-General’s Chambers had also been represented in the High Court hearing before the judgment was delivered.
It would appear that Ong and his Minsitry had acted most irresponsibly and negligently in creating the RM250 million disaster for the thousands of small-time house-buyers in their uneven fight for justice against the housing developers, and he should outline in the Ministerial statement in Parliament the strategy and steps his Ministry would take to save and protect the rights and interests of the house-buyers in the country and ensure that the intention of Parliament to give them protection is not completely defeated.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman