Malaysia: Villagers in Pengerang affected by land acquisition for petrochemical project will receive damages

Zazali Musa The Star 13 Sep 12;

JOHOR BARU: Villagers affected by the land acquisition process in Pengerang will receive their compensation in cash within 14 days of their acceptance.

The assurance given by the state government was for the on-going public hearing on the land acquisition award that started on Sept 3.

The hearing was for villagers in three villages whose lands are affected by the Rapid project located within the proposed Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC).

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said recently that Phase one of the public hearing until Sep 14, would enable the three villages affected to receive their compensation.

The three villages affected by the acquired land and properties are part of Kampung Sungai Kapal, part of Kampung Teluk Empang and part of Kampung Langkah Baik.

The public hearing implementation is based on Land Acquisition Act 1960.

“Affected villagers should not worry about their rights because it will be done according to provisions of the Act,’’ he said.

Abdul Ghani said the compensation offered would be based on valuation conducted by the Valuation and Property Service Department.

He said it was based on prevailing market prices (transaction values) at the time before Section 4, was gazetted and would not be arbitrarily decided upon by the state government.

Over and above this compensation, the state government would also be offering a special housing ownership scheme in a new resettlement area to villagers, whose houses were affected.

The scheme offers villagers the opportunity to own new detached houses at substantially discounted prices.

All the new houses come with 6,000 sq ft of land each, for which the villagers need to pay a nominal fee of RM1 only.

The categories of the new houses on offer are based on the valuation of the owners’ existing houses:

a) For existing houses valued between RM10,000 to RM40,000, villagers will be able to own new houses (750 sq ft built-up area) with 6,000 sq ft of land at an estimated market value of RM120,000 by paying only RM35,000 - a fraction of the market price. The state government will subsidise a minimum of RM85,000.

b) For existing houses valued between RM40,001 and RM75,000, villagers will be able to own new houses (1,000 sq ft built-up area) with 6,000 sq ft of land at an estimated market value of RM180,000 by paying a mere RM65,000. The subsidy by the state government is RM115,000.

c) For existing houses valued at RM75,001 to RM95,000, the state government will subsidise RM130,000 for the villagers to own new houses with 1,300 sq ft built-up area and 6,000 sq ft of land at an estimated market value of RM215,000 by paying only RM85,000.

d) For existing houses valued above RM95,000, villagers will be able to own new houses (1,600 sq ft) with 6,000 sq ft of land at an estimated market value of RM245,000 by paying only RM105,000. The state will subsidise RM140,000 under this category.

Villagers will be able to use the compensation payout received for the affected houses to offset the costs of owning the new houses.

Additionally, the state will also award two acres of agriculture land at a minimal premium to be paid by the landowners, on top of the cash compensation to be paid for the acquired agricultural land.

The land will be awarded to villagers who own agricultural land that meet the prescribed criteria set by the government.