IPOH, 2 Dec 2008: Owners of residential lots in organised villages and new villages in Perak can apply to convert their leasehold status to ownership in perpetuity or freehold beginning today, Perak senior state executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said.
He said these owners, in 349 organised villages and 134 new villages, had only to pay a premium of 20% of the difference between the freehold and leasehold values according to the size in sq metres of the land for the conversion.
“For residential lots on Malay reserve land, the premium is half of the actual that has to be paid in accordance with Rule 8 (4) of the Perak Land Regulations 1966 (Amendment 1998),” he told a news conference, here.
Ngeh said the granting of the freehold status was in keeping with the election pledge of the Pakatan Rakyat.
“It is also a policy of the Pakatan Rakyat government to enrich and empower the people because granting of the titles will raise the value of the real estate in the organised villages and new villages,” he said.
Ngeh said the granting of the freehold titles was expected to raise the real estate value of organised villages and new villages in Perak to over RM1.5 billion.
He dismissed the assumption of certain quarters that the granting of the freehold status favoured any one community.
“The exercise involves 102,000 titles in the 349 organised villages and 47,000 titles in the 134 new villages. The majority of the inhabitants of organised villages are Malays and the majority of the inhabitants of new villages are Chinese while Indians live in both the organised villages and new villages,” he said.
Asked about claims by certain quarters that the granting of the freehold titles contravened provisions of the National Land Code, Ngeh said the matter was no longer an issue because the state government had sought the advice of a former Court of Appeal judge and discussed it with a panel of experienced lawyers, all of whom felt that the titles could be granted.
On views that the granting of the freehold titles would hamper future development plans of the state government, he said: “I do not see any problem. If we want to carry out development, we have the Land Acquisition Act. We will pay them the market rate so as to be fair to the people. Furthermore, I do not see the commercial viability in the land,” he said.
Ngeh said the state government anticipated revenue of between RM300 million and RM450 million from the premium for conversion of the land status should all the owners of residential lots in organised villages and new villages converted the land to freehold. — Bernama