‘Collect higher land revenue for state’
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.