9th May – 15th May
Despite plans to increase revenue collection, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the state has no plans to raise quit rent (land tax) for the next five years.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has cancelled the proposed alienation of land near the Bohol flood retention pond to a private developer, 19 months after the company received conditional approval from the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Land Exco (JKTWPKL).
No quit rent hike in Pahang in next five years
Despite plans to increase revenue collection, the state government of Pahang has no plans to raise quit rent (land tax) for the next five years, said Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
He made the assurance at the state Legislative Assembly on 10 May, noting that the state has other strategies in place to raise revenue collection, such as by boosting recurring income, reported Bernama.
“We cannot continue to be in the status quo (in revenue collection) due to various reasons such as salary increases, the increase in the number of civil servants and the cost of living which causes the state government to strive to increase revenue collection,” he said.
“One of the things that can be done is to increase the collection of recurring revenue, as we have approximately 740,000 land titles and if it can be increased up to one million titles, the annual revenue will increase. Likewise, if the process of changing conditions (on land status) is simplified, it will lead to higher income because it will increase land ownership,” added Wan Rosdy.
Government cancels Bohol land deal
The Federal Government has cancelled the proposed alienation of land near the Bohol flood retention pond to a private developer, 19 months after the company received conditional approval from the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Land Exco (JKTWPKL).
The decision comes after the developer failed to meet the technical requirements that were needed for the alienation process to be successful, said Azman Abidin, Political Secretary of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Notably, the pond – which is part of Lot 102996 – has been gazetted as reserve land for recreation, reported The Star.
Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad explained that approval in principle is awarded to allow a comprehensive analysis based on conditions set by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), which will be carried out by the applicant.
However, he pointed out that such approval is no guarantee that the transfer of ownership will be allowed.
He noted that DID’s Technical and Design Requirements reports showed that the Bohol pond needed 33.1ha of land for protection levels of up to 200 Average Recurrence Interval (ARI).
With this, DID requested for the land to remain as a retention pond and river reserve.
Expected surge in demand for Johor properties yet to take off
While the rising cost of living in Singapore has caused some expatriates to move out of the city-state, the expected surge in demand for high-end properties in Johor has yet to take off.
Moreover, property prices in the southern state have also increased, making it less appealing for Malaysians to return home and commute daily to work in Singapore, reported Free Malaysia Today.
Despite this, Johor is still attracting foreign buyers, particularly from China and Singapore, looking for properties to serve as vacation homes, retirement places or investments, said Johor-based real estate negotiator Stanley Chui.
Malaysia’s shift towards the financial and technology sectors also made it more appealing to foreign investors.
However, most of the residential property acquisitions are in the secondary market, said PA International Property Consultants Sdn Bhd’s Executive Director V Sivadass.
This comes as Malaysia still does not compare to Singapore in terms of business and socio-economic environment and infrastructure. It also lacks a long-term asset ownership policy for foreigners.
Penang prepared to call tender for Beyan Lepas LRT project
The state government of Penang is ready to call tender for its Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (BLLRT) project, with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow saying that the necessary land acquisitions are already finalised.
In fact, the state is prepared to present its report to the relevant ministries, reported Malay Mail.
“The report will help the federal government to evaluate what we have done so far,” said Chow.
He shared that Penang’s preparations fit Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s wish to expedite the BLLRT project.
“We will leave it to the relevant ministries to decide on the alignment, other related matters and how to implement it,” added Chow.
The BLLRT is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), which also includes the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1).
The 29.5km BLLRT will have 27 stations and is expected to cost around RM10 billion, while the 19.5 km highway, PIL1, is expected to cost RM7.5 billion.
Orang Asli network opposes ‘sultanate land’ proposal
More than 200 Orang Asli people in Johor protested peacefully in front of Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi’s office to express their opposition to the proposed conversion of their customary lands into sultanate land.
A protest memorandum, which included signatures from 40 Orang Asli villages across the state and a concept proposal on customary land management, was reportedly submitted to Onn Hafiz through his private secretary Iskandar Omar, said Free Malaysia Today.
Johor network of Orang Asli villages’ head Dolah Tekoi said the Orang Asli community wanted to be “more comfortable with the old system of placing the land under the normal reserve system of the Aboriginal Peoples Act and the National Land Code”.
He shared that the issue will be brought to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s attention within two weeks and that the community is willing to meet with Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar if he calls for a meeting.
The community within Pengkalan Tereh’s Orang Asli settlement cultivates palm oil, rubber, sugarcane and bananas for a living. They do not see the need to implement the proposal, saying there is already a law to protect them.