Hornbill Unleashed

November 17, 2012

Time to stop the land grabs

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Land belonging mostly to Malays in Gelang Patah was acquired at only 64 sen psf from about 10,000 Malay villagers from 17 kampungs for a RM12b resort city in Johor.

The Land Acquisition Act 1960 was enacted to enable the government to make compulsory acquisition of land from the people for infrastructural and public projects. It was meant for roads, schools, hospitals and public amenities.

Then came Dr Mahathir Mohamad who, in 1991, amended the act to enable state governments to acquire land and then alienate such land to the private sector for property development.

Since then, Barisan Nasional state governments have been abusing and exploiting the Act to launch land grabs for their unabated profiteering agenda.

For example, in Johor’s Pengerang where the RM60 billion Petronas Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Complex (Rapid) is located, the Johor Petroleum Development Corporation Bhd (JPDC) has used the Act to acquire 22,500 acres at an average of RM2.80 psf.

That is enough to buy three pieces of roti canai. According to property valuers, the current price of land in Pengerang is about RM12 psf.

The big question: Why did Johor Menteri Besar Ghani Othman approve the acquisition of 22,500 acres when the Rapid petrochemical refinery and complex needed only 6,000 acres?

The answer is clear, because some land has already been alienated to a private developer to build houses.

Rapid is set to wipe out six mosques, 11 surau, nine non-Muslim religious structures, five national schools, five Islamic religious schools, three SJKCs (Chinese national type schools), three government quarters, three rural clinics, two police stations, 11 Muslim cemeteries, seven non-Muslim cemeteries and nine community halls.

The BN is also deceiving the rakyat by claiming that Rapid will benefit Pengerang residents when it is only benefiting BN-Umno cronies.

What’s all the destruction for? It all points to greed and profiteering at the expense of the people, in this case the Malays who lost their customary land.

Why must the BN state government acquire land belonging to individual Malay villagers when it can consider the vast tracks of land belonging to corporations, conglomerates and the state in south Johor?

Project in Gelang Patah

Now, there is a Business Times report titled “RM12b Sunway resort city in Johor”. Many have benefited from BN-Umno’s gravy train and the latest to get a share of this is Sunway.

The land, belonging mostly to Malays in Gelang Patah, was acquired at only 64 sen psf from about 10,000 Malay villagers from 17 kampungs.

It is clear the BN government abused and used the Act to grab the land and then alienated it to Umno’s UEM Bhd for property and infrastructure play.

Up to now, the public is not told how costly infrastructure for Nusajaya had been, to whom and at what price awards were given out.

So much for Umno’s Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) or Umno’s Pembela Melayu (Defender of Malays), etc.

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