Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 19. 2nd August 1973
Elites and Bloodsuckers
Elites and Bloodsuckers
The Alliance government has drained away hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to encourage and help the big landlords and Malay political elites to establish business enterprises under the cloak of "Special Malay Rights" or "Bumiputraism". Through Government-financed and Government-sponsored agencies the Malay political and business elites and the big landlords have consolidated their positions. They have acquired control over targe tracts of land through corruption. Incidentally, corruption in land allocation is to be found in all the states of which Perak is a typical example.
The ex-Minister of Education Rahman Talib's corruption of mining land in Perak is still fresh in public minds. This was followed by the widely publicised corruption of Som Abdullah, a leading member of the women's section of the Umno who with the help of the Chief Minister of Perak, Ahmad Said, acquired more than 1,000 acres of land through corruption and later sold it for profit.
How this Chief Minister of Perak appropriated land by exploiting his official position is an outstanding example of such cases of corruption. He is head of the Industry and Finance Corporation Perak Ltd, the Development Board of Perak, and various other government-financed and government-sponsored concerns. The Industry and Finance Corporation Perak Ltd is fully supported by the government and hence a large tract of land with 274,466 acres was appropriated for it. Out of the 60,000 acres of land set aside for mining in Hulu Perak (Upper Perak River), 50,000 acres has been reserved for the Corporation.
The FLDA has offered large tracts of land gratis to the foreign investors and local developers for their oil-palm, rubber and sugar-cane plantations and for exploiting timber. The editorial of the Straits Time revealed that a flood which occurred every year throughout the whole country was in actual fact the consequence of over exploitation of the timber resources by foreign capital. The vital issue of environmental conservation has been shelved aside for the interests of foreign investors who just cut the woods and off they go with profit for new forest resources. The FLDA and other government sponsored agencies such as MARA and FAMA are instruments of the Malay political and business elites to enrich themselves and to impoverish the peasants, especially the rural Malay peasants.