NUSAJAYA: The development of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) in Johor will continue despite a land dispute between the landowners, the Johor government and project owner Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas).
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said public interest projects should continue even though a lawsuit is ongoing.
“According to land regulations the project, which is of public interest, can continue although court proceedings are ongoing as it cannot be halted under the Land Code. I don’t think the PIPC would be jeopardised because of this,” he told reporters yesterday. He was commenting on the possibility of the project being postponed because of the land dispute.
Earlier, Muhyiddin attended a briefing by the state government on development plans, including the Iskandar region.
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said disputes are normal when taking possession of land for projects.
“This is normal. When we take possession of land there’s bound to be disputes, for instance, from the compensation point of view. We will hand the matter over to the courts and will abide by their decision,” he said.
Kelana Megah Development Sdn Bhd has filed suit, claiming that seven parcels of its land were illegally transferred under the compulsory land acquisition for the refinery and petrochemical integrated development (Rapid) project, which is part of the Pengerang project.
Kelana Megah’s parent company, MPHB Capital Bhd, alleged its land was unlawfully acquired by the Johor government at a price of 93 sen per sq ft (psf) despite the existence of an agreement between the latter and Petronas to purchase the land at RM8 psf.
The land makes up about 45% of the total land required for the Rapid project.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 28, 2014.
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