• The charge framed under Section 425(1)(a) of the National Land Code — Act 828, carries a maximum penalty of RM500,000 fine or five years imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.

KUANTAN (Feb 22): A company director pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here on Thursday to unlawfully occupying state land in Pahang last year.

Cheong Chin Chong, 62, was charged with committing the offence at Kampung Permatang Perawan, Pekan, on Aug 8, 2023 at about 5.15pm.

The charge framed under Section 425(1)(a) of the National Land Code — Act 828, carries a maximum penalty of RM500,000 fine or five years imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.

During the proceedings, Pahang Land and Mines Office prosecuting officers Muhammad Najmi Zaki Amer Suhaimi and Muhammad Taqiuddin Azizan, offered bail of RM20,000 with one surety.

The accused, who was unrepresented appealed for a lesser bail as he earns between RM2,000 to RM3,000 per month and has to support his wife, father and two children.

Judge Azman Mustapha later granted the accused bail of RM6,000 and scheduled the next mention for March 22.

According to the facts of the case, Cheong, a director of a subcontractor company tasked with forest road cleaning for logging, was found conducting unauthorised excavation work beyond the designated area.

Further investigation found that the accused, acting as the site supervisor, conducted soil excavation for five days at the site, for land filling and rehabilitating forest roads for logging.

In addition, two backhoe loaders were seized with a notice issued under Section 426A(5) of the National Land Code Act 828.

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