Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Perak and Penang committed to freehold titles award plans

Pakatan Rakyat states Perak and Penang are committed to giving lower-income folk the opportunity to own freehold land, but will have to re-discuss their proposals following Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s freeze order on their plans.

Perak Senior Executive Councillor and State DAP Chairman Ngeh Koo Ham said it was the Pakatan’s policy to rectify the past injustices done to those living in these villages. “They did not go into the villages voluntarily but were forced to move into them and they were not given basic amenities. They suffered a lot,” said Ngeh.

Both the Perak and Penang state governments were responding to news that Najib had frozen their proposals to do so. Najib’s had said that Perak would have to wait until the National Land Council held a meeting to discuss its proposal.

But according to Ngeh, the power related to land rested on the state and not the federal government.. “The National Land Code is a governing code for administrative purposes only,” Ngeh said.

He added that Perak had discussed special circumstances in awarding freehold titles such as public or government projects and projects that were of public interest. “The new and planned villages come under special circumstances,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said the state will discuss whether to continue with its plan to allow owners of low and medium-cost flats to convert their leasehold titles to freehold without paying a land premium.

An announcement on the matter would most likely be made today, he added. “We need to consider carefully whether we are going to implement the policies or re-propose them at the next National Land Council meeting,” said Lim.

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