Saturday July 5, 2008
By CHRISTINA KOH
A STATE executive councillor wants the Perak State Development Corporation (SDC) to lease out its "thousands of acres" of land if it does not plan to develop them immediately.
State Health, Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan said there were many cases of state land being acquired but left unused.
He added there were also cases of farmers toiling on state land illegally for 30 years and still unable to get land titles.
Sivanesan, who is also Sungkai assemblyman, cited the case of a duck farmer in Bidor who had an RM5mil factory on a 27.2ha piece of land and exported 7,000 birds to Singapore every day.
“He has been renewing his TOL (temporary occupational licence) annually but then in 2005, the authorities refused to extend his lease after SDC came in.
“I’m disappointed that this man, who wants to expand his business in Perak, cannot even get the TOL,” he told reporters after meeting 24 local and international investors in Ipoh on Thursday.
Sivanesan also related another case where approval for land was given to a co-operative run by “four Datins and a Toh Puan” in 2006 although there were two earlier applications from farmers for that land.
“These two applicants have been working on this 41ha plot of land for the past 20 years, and yet approval was granted to the co-operative.
“The co-operative was supposed to grow papayas. Yet until today, not a single papaya tree is there. That land could have been developed into an industrial lot,” he said.
Sivanesan questioned the reasons for Perak’s farmers to be denied the extension of the leases on their agricultural land.
“SDC has land that is not being utilised at all. They should lease out the land to the farmers to generate revenue,” he said.