HOW big is Malaysia? While the population keeps growing, land mass remains almost static. Even if you do mega reclamations, would that too not belong to all Malaysians for posterity?
But buying and selling land has become a business to self enrichment which we wrongly label as “making smart money”.
Converting agricultural land to commercial; degazetting reserve land; owning prime and virgin forests as private property; making land freehold – all of these and other unrestrained attempts and ventures have punched a huge liability on the future of a nation that is supposed to be there for all Malaysians throughout eternity.
Today the debacle surrounding the parcel in Johor is exposing how dangerous our political, social and economic knitting is turning out to be.
It would be no surprise if we take inventory of the entire land mass we call the territory of Malaysia.
What happens when everyone starts owing privately the pieces of the terra firma that is supposed to last to infinity for all Malaysians?
Should we not revisit our laws that were handed down by an ancient feudal system? Should we not revisit our land laws that were machined into shape by our colonial masters?
Should it not be time to revisit all the modifications we made to the laws in a frenzied war cry of “modernisation through privatisation” that led to meteoric rise of land prices putting it beyond the affordability of half the population and all in hardly six decades after independence?
Today with just 30 million people we are already struggling for land use as those in power can with the stroke of a pen buy, sell, pawn and even horde for future ugly gains any acreage of land.
It is time to stop treating Malaysia like a cake to be cut up and eaten at the expense of future generations.
J. D. Lovrenciear