Pas’ statement on land ownership unreasonable, baseless - Ramasamy

14 Jun 2023 03:32pm

GEORGETOWN - Penang Deputy Chief Minister II, P Ramasamy has criticised the unreasonable comparison between the loss of Malay land in Penang and Israel displacing Palestine.

He expressed his confusion over Pas’ manipulation of race and religion in the lead-up to the state election.

In addition to imposing accusations against DAP and the unity government, Pas had focused on the alleged loss of Malay land to non-Malays in Penang, he said.

“Although Pas is quick to issue statements when it comes to race and religion, it has a poor track record in presenting valid and systematic evidence.

“The party claims that in 2010, Malays only had a 28 per cent share of land in Penang.

“Whether this share is limited to the island, the mainland, or both is unclear... I think it refers to the share of the island in Penang,” he wrote on his Facebook today.

Ramasamy said that a study by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 2008 revealed that the percentage of Malay-owned land exceeded 20 per cent.

Following that, he stated that Pas should be pleased because the percentage of Malay land ownership had increased by 8 per cent over two years from 2008 to 2010.

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“I am puzzled as to why Pas relies on land ownership data from 13 years ago without updating and obtaining current information on land ownership.

“It is unclear what is meant by Malay-owned land. Does it refer to individual ownership or land held in trust by government agencies?

“Pas should not speak in vague terms; it should come forward with updated information based on facts regarding the percentage of land ownership by Malays in Penang in both areas,” he added.

Ramasamy also pointed out that in many situations or issues in the past, Pas easily escaped by making baseless claims without providing evidence.

He also claimed that Pas often repeats half-truths because they went unchallenged without undergoing investigation.

“If the public is not provided with accurate information, Pas’ frequent repetition of misconceptions may turn them into perceived truths.

“Land ownership in Penang is a complex matter. Malay land ownership consists of individual ownership, Trust Holders, and Wakaf (endowment land). I am not sure which one or all of them Pas is referring to in their statement,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ramasamy, who is also the Penang DAP deputy chairman, said that as the state polls approach, the public should prepare themselves to face other baseless claims from Pas.

He said that as someone pointed out, equating the loss of Palestinian land to Israel with the loss of Malay land in Penang is a poor comparison for the people in Palestine.

“The Palestinian territories are occupied by the Israeli military; it is not primarily about land loss but the worst form of displacement.

“In fact, under military governance, it cannot be simply categorised as a matter of land ownership.

“There may be a shortage of private Malay and non-Malay land due to urbanisation and commercialisation.

“However, Pas is painting a picture that Malay land is systematically being taken over by non-Malays or that the state is an attempt to stoke racial issues,” he concluded.