Thursday, March 04, 2010

Perak MB disputes ‘exorbitant’ charge for land

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir today questioned the “exorbitant” RM37 million demanded by the Railway Assets Corporation for the railway reserve land in Kuala Sepetang which the federal government decided to hand over to Perak for the 300 occupants there.

He asked the corporation to review the quantum of payment for the sake of the occupants, many of whom are fishermen, or even give up for free the land bordering a stretch of the railway line between Kuala Sepetang (formerly Port Weld) and Taiping which has remained unused since 1941.

“My reply to them (the corporation) is a ‘No’. I will take up this matter for the sake of the people. Why are they imposing such an exorbitant charge? It does not make sense. What is this? I hope the Transport Minister has some good news,” he told reporters after a visit to the District Land and Mines Office, here.

Dr Zambry said he raised the matter with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday, and was waiting for a response from the ministry, and would not make any payment until then.

The Cabinet on Jan 27 decided that the 94.5 hectares of the railway reserve land be handed over to the Perak government to resolve the land issue of the 300 people in Kuala Sepetang as the state government had promised during the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election in March last year.

Some of the occupants had been living there for four generations and had been paying rent to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and the Railway Assets Corporation. — Bernama

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