A BUSINESSMAN is now paying a heavy price for allegedly encroaching into government’s land and for obstructing enforcement officers from performing their duties.
The businessman is the owner of two plots of land (Lot 1450 and 1451) in Batu Kawan which he used as a burial ground.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the businessman would prepare and sell the burial plots to his customers.
“After he had fully occupied his land, he encroached into the state’s land which was located next to his land and prepared more burial plots.
“Lot 248 and Lot 1449 were acquired by the state government back in 1992 and 1993 respectively.
“Lot 248 (176 acres) was gazetted in 1990 and the Borang K was issued on Nov 28, 1992. Borang K will only be issued once the acquisition and compensation are finalised.
“Lot 1449 (3.565 acres) was gazetted April 15, 1993, and the Borang K was issued on Sept 25, 1993.
“Hence, both plots of land (Lot 248 and 1449) belong to the state government,” Chow told a press conference in Komtar today.
Chow said measuring works were conducted on Sept 25 last year (2018) to identify the extent of the encroachment which had taken place.
“A meeting was also held between the businessman and the south Seberang Perai district and land office on Nov 29 last year (2018).
“The meeting was held to inform the businessman of his act of trespassing into government’s land. The case was reported to the Land Committee and I took note of the matter.
“This issue must be addressed immediately before it becomes more complicated. Buyers of the burial plots may be victims of circumstances,” he said.
Chow added that he chaired a meeting on April 3 this year, attended by Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik, south Seberang Perai district officer and the representatives of the Land and Mines Office and Penang Development Corporation (PDC).
“The district office and PDC had put up notice boards to deter trespassers but the boards were damaged.
“The south Seberang Perai land administrator issued an official notice to the businessman to inform him of the offence, dated April 5 this year. The notice was received by the businessman’s wife on the same day.
“The notice also stated that the offence is punishable under Subsection 425 (1)(a) of the State Land Code 1965; which carries a fine of up to RM500,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, if found guilty.
“However, the businessman did not heed the order to stop trespassing. Instead, new structures were built after the notice was served.
“The state decided to conduct an enforcement operation on Sept 4 this year, under Section 426A of the State Land Code 1965. However, the operation was conducted only on Lot 248.
“We learned that some burial plots on Lot 1449 have been occupied. It will cause a huge social impact if those burial plots are disturbed, hence, the operation was only conducted on Lot 248.
“The businessman tried to obstruct the enforcement team from performing their duties. A police report was lodged on the same day (Sept 4) and the businessman was picked up to assist police investigation.
“Investigation papers under Section 425 of the State Land Code 1965 for encroachment are also being prepared,” Chow said.
He urged the public to be aware of the issue and not to purchase the burial plots on Lot 248 and 1449.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi