‘Col­lect higher land rev­enue for state’

New Straits Times - - News -

JO­HOR BARU: The Jo­hor gov­ern­ment has been urged to fo­cus on solv­ing the prob­lem re­lated to land oc­cu­pancy vi­o­la­tions in or­der to earn bet­ter in­come from the us­age of land in the state.

Sul­tan of Jo­hor Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Iskandar said a more prag­matic ap­proach was needed to en­sure that the state re­ceived what was due from the in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties car­ried out on land that was pre­vi­ously used for agri­cul­ture.

“Fo­cus should be on those who vi­o­late the con­di­tions of land use. If agri­cul­tural was used for in­dus­trial or com­mer­cial use, the state gov­ern­ment should sim­plify the process to con­vert the land sta­tus so that it can col­lect ad­di­tional pre­mium and higher taxes from it,” the ruler said when open­ing the fifth pro­ceed­ing of the 13th State As­sem­bly at Bukit Tim­balan here yes­ter­day.

Sul­tan Ibrahim urged the state gov­ern­ment to im­me­di­ately en­force the amend­ments to the Jo­hor Land Rules, which would im­pose new rates for quit rent and other re­lated pay­ments.

“The amend­ments should have been en­forced in 2015, more than 10 years af­ter the last amend­ments made by the state gov­ern­ment in 2004.

“Don’t post­pone the en­force­ment just be­cause the gen­eral elec­tion is around the cor­ner. Re­mem­ber that any pol­icy or law must be made con­sis­tently, not be­cause of po­lit­i­cal rea­sons,” said Sul­tan Ibrahim.

He said the state gov­ern­ment should only rent or lease the rights to use agri­cul­ture land so that it can col­lect more rev­enue and to en­sure the land re­mained in the hands of the state.

The ruler said when the state gov­ern­ment gives agri­cul­ture land to in­di­vid­u­als, it could only col­lect a land pre­mium of RM400 per hectare while the land tax was only RM35 per year.

“How­ever, when the state gov­ern­ment wants to take back the land, it has to pay com­pen­sa­tion ac­cord­ing to cur­rent mar­ket prices. I sug­gest that the state gov­ern­ment only rent or lease the rights to use these lands.

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