News: Authorities Received No Report On Alleged Bukit Chagar Land Grab

May 7, 2019

Authorities refuted allegations that business entities may have abused connections with the Johor palace to illegally acquire land within the state, following suspicions of so-called land grabs affecting federal properties.

Amidst an apparently complex ownership dispute over a 4.5 ha land located in Bukit Chagar, which has been allocated for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, sources from various enforcement agencies have stated that there is no information of any company acquiring land using the ruler’s name, reported the New Straits Times.

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It has been confirmed that the property belongs to Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, although a federal claim on it has been made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

With such transactions being practically unheard of, agencies, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have not conducted any investigations into the rumoured land grabs.

“There is no such thing (involving companies) happening. So far, there has not been any report. As far as I know, there is nothing of that sort of investigation going on. At least for now,” a source stated.

On the other hand, sources from agencies handling land and minerals in Johor stated that any probe on the matter would surely address the leaked documents covering land ownership.

“So far, there is no MACC probe on this issue. If there is a probe, it would be about finding out how the documents (in the land deal) were leaked. The documents are regarded as government secrets, but they were spread to the point that people in Putrajaya were informed about it.”

The issue is believed to have left Johor civil service staff in a dilemma, with them not knowing whether to defer to federal authorities or follow the palace.

Meanwhile, it is unclear how the land was put under the ruler’s name.

When asked regarding the matter, Land and Mines Department director-general Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad said he would first meet with Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar before deciding on the department’s stand on the issue.

“So far, there is no statement on this matter. I will need to first discuss it with the minister… I am not sure when (the discussion will be) as I will wait for the minister to call for the discussion,” he said.

 

Image source from NST Online 

 

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