April 18, 2008 by Charles Fernandez
SELANGOR is adopting a “wait and see” approach to see if the Perak government succeeds in issuing permanent land titles to all kampung tersusun (planned villages) and new villages, before the same move is taken in the state.
“We are not in a hurry. It is better to learn how the Perak government is going about it,” said state executive councillor for new village development and illegal factory taskforce, Ean Yong Hian Wah.
“It will be a good gesture to issue land titles, but in the case of Selangor we may issue a 99-year land title instead,’’ he said.
Currently, the premium for new villages in Selangor is 50 sen per sq ft for a 60-year lease and RM2.50 per sq ft for a 99-year lease.
The move by the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak to issue freehold land titles to the planned villages and Chinese new villages within a month of being in power has been hailed by the people as a dream come true after almost 60 years.
The move, the first involving new villages, is expected to give beneficiaries a sense of security and help in wealth creation.
Sign of the times: Part of Sungai Chua New Village where some houses have been torn down while life goes on as usual for the occupants of neighbouring houses.
However, the giving of land titles has been done almost everywhere and it has been part and parcel of the government’s way of getting the people’s support.
Ean Yong added that while the move looked simple on paper, there were numerous technical and legal aspects to look into before the state could issue permanent titles to all new villages.
“Even if we consider the same approach, it is going to take years before it becomes a reality.
“The proposed 99-year lease is good for a start. Many of the land titles which are either on 60-year or 99-year leases, are said to have expired recently,’’ he added.
There are 42 new villages and 17 planned villages in Selangor, the biggest of which is the Seri Kembangan new village, which has undergone tremendous transformation over the years.
No uniformity: A rooftop view of Kampung Baru Balakong.
Chinese new villages were created by the British in the 1950s to isolate the Chinese population from the communist insurgents.
The highest number of new villages is in the Hulu Langat district with 10, followed by Hulu Selangor (eight), Petaling (six), Gombak (five), Sepang (four), three each in Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam, two in Kuala Langat and one in Klang.
“There are also a total of 19 fishing villages and 17 planned villages in the state,” said Ean Yong