Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DUN (Day Six): State govt returning excess land renewal premiums

Posted on June 28, 2011, Tuesday

THE state government is refunding excess land renewal premiums to the people.

“The government has refunded to house owners in Kenyalang Park (621 lots) here, and Merbau Estate (23 lots) and Gilbert Estate (7 lots) in Miri. At the same time, we are considering applications for premium refund from other parts of the state,” said Second Planning and Resources Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan in his winding-up speech for the ministry yesterday.

According to Awang Tengah, the Land and Survey Department had received 857 applications as of May 31 this year.

“Out of this number, 651 applications have been approved involving refunds of about RM1.93 million.

“Out of the approved number, 610 applications have been issued cheques for a total of RM1.66 million.

“The remaining applications involving RM266,000 have been approved and the cheques will be issued soonest,” he said.

Referring to a case where a deceased landowner had paid the premium, Awang Tengah said although the person had died, the money would still be paid. Therefore, his heir needs to do a probate so that the money can be claimed by the holder of the ‘surat kuasa’ (letter of authority).

Meanwhile state DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng said the answers given by Awang Tengah were too general, and the minister did not answer a question on whether excess industrial premium would be refunded.

“Besides that, Land and Survey Department stated in a letter that they will only consider refund of excess premium for eligible cases, which in this case means hardcore poor only.

“I asked the honourable minister to tell Sarawakians once and for all the criteria of eligibility for refund, but he didn’t give a clear answer.”

The information is too general and not detailed enough for applicants to know whether their applications will be refunded or not,” said the Bukit Assek assemblyman. During Awang Tengah’s winding-up speech, Chong Chieng Jen (DAP Kota Sentosa) asked him to clarify if there was any plan to reduce the renewal premium for industrial land, to which Awang Tengah answered it had not been fi nalised yet.

Chong then called the government to reduce the land renewal premium for industrial lots soon, as the current rate was too high.

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