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Land acquisition award hearings end first session


CHEQUES READY:Compensations vary according to location, size and shape of the property, among other factors

THE 12-day land acquisition award hearings concerning the development of oil-and-gas projects in Pengerang were concluded recently.

Johor State Economic Planning Unit director, Elias Hasran, told a Press conference at Kota Iskandar, here, that 16 cheques were ready to be handed out to the main title holders.

He added that a total of 74 copies of the consent forms out of 191 distributed were returned by the title owners of 223 plots of land affected by the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) and Pengerang Independent Deepwater Petroleum Terminal located within the proposed Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC).

Elias said that those with doubts would be entitled to file their reasons according to the Land Acquisition Act 1960 whereby they would be able to seek their own counsel or land valuers, and all expenses would be borne by the government.

"Everything will be done in accordance with the Act," he said.

Also present at the Press conference were Johor Petroleum Development Corporation Bhd chief executive Mohd Yazid Ja'afar and Johor Land and Mines Department deputy director, Azmi Rohani.

Elias said the compensations varied according to the location, size and shape of the land, among other factors.

On another matter, Elias said that the move to re-locate all the Muslim graves to a 32.32-hectare site had been settled.   

However, some issues remained concerning the relocation of the Chinese graves to a 23.43-ha site in Punggai, near Pengerang.

He was however confident that the issues would be resolved as this was not the first time the government has re-located Chinese graves in the name of development.  

He cited the construction of the Eastern Dispersal Link and the Nusajaya highway where Chinese graves had been re-located without any problems.

"We will be having another round of talks with the local Chinese community leaders in Pengerang.  

"On our part, the government will appoint a company that is well-versed in Chinese rites according to Taoist faith," he said, adding that the re-location of the Chinese graves will probably be before next March.

Elias said notwithstanding some gatherings being organised by  non-governmental organisations, he believed any misunderstanding which arose out of miscommunication would be resolved amicably.

It was reported that the state government would be acquiring some 8,094ha of land in Pengerang for the development of the PIPC.

This massive development is the state government's initiative to transform Pengerang into a oil-and-gas hub.

It will involve the relocation of 3,122 people from 927 families currently residing in the affected areas.

Phase One of the relocation exercise will begin in March next year involving three villages.   These are Kampung Sungai Kapal, Kampung Teluk Empang and Kampung Langkah Baik.

By October next year, another four villages will follow suit. These are Kampung Sebong, Kampung Batu Mas, Kampung Jawa and Kampung Sungai Buntu.

Elias Hassan explaining the outcome of the land acquisition hearing as Azmi Rohani looks on. Pic by Roslan Khamis

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