IPOH: Aug 12, 2008
Farmers toiling illegally on state land should be allowed to continue if the land they are on is not earmarked for development, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.
Although there had been no decision on whether to allow such people to own the land or be given temporary occupational licence (TOL), Nizar said:
“If the land is not earmarked for development or identified in any masterplan, the people should be allowed to continue working on it.
“There is plenty of state land which does not have any planning for development.”
“We should encourage the people to use the land particularly if they are from Perak,” he said during a working visit to the state Land and Mines Office here yesterday.
Nizar said this when responding to a question by a state Land and Mines Office personnel who raised concerns that trespassers had been on the rise since the Pakatan Rakyat government took over power in Perak.
He added that the job of enforcement officers at the Land and Mines Office was to collect revenue from those who did not settle their payment after they were given TOLs.
“Don’t you think that even civil servants or their children from Perak should be given priority to own land in the state?” he asked.
Earlier, Nizar told the personnel to work hard to dispel negative perceptions of the people towards the Land and Mines Office.
“We want the people to look at this office and say that this is the office that resolves their problem,” he said.
He also urged the staff to not allow elected representatives to interfere with their duties.
“Don’t allow the elected representatives to dictate what they want from the Land Office,” he added.