High Court sets aside Selangor Government's revocation of land approval

SHAH ALAM: The High Court here on May 24 set aside the Selangor government's revocation of the awarding of 16.9ha of state land in Bagan Lalang, Sepang, to an investment company, eight years ago.

Judge Datuk Nurchaya Arshad made the decision in chambers after hearing an application for judicial review of the case filed by Azam Cemerlang Sdn Bhd in 2004.

The company had named the Sepang district land administrator and Selangor government as respondents, claiming both parties did not give any justification for withdrawing approval for the land.

Lawyer Rejinder Singh, who represented Azam Cemerlang, when approached by reporters outside the court, said the court arrived at the decision after taking into consideration the way the respondents had gone about in revoking the approval for the land.

In its affidavit, Azam Cemerlang said on June 17, 1999, the company received a letter form the Sepang Land Office stating that the state government had approved 16.9ha of land in Bagan Lalang to it to be developed for tourism and commercial purposes.

The company said the letter had also stated that land premium and other related payments would be imposed once the state government had received the valuation report on the parcel from the local valuation office.

Azam Cemerlang said the Sepang Land and District Office on June 27, 2002, issued a notice to the company to pay up RM3.07 million as land premium with Sept 27, 2002, given as the deadline for settlement.

Subsequently, Azam Cemerlang claimed that on Aug 8, 2002, it filed an appeal to the Menteri Besar (MB) as the head of the Selangor government to reduce the premium by 50% and that this was supported by the MB on Aug 26, 2002.

However, Azam Cemerlang said, on Sept 2 2002, it received a letter dated Aug 22, 2002, from the Sepang Land Administrator which among others stated that the State Executive Council Meeting on June 26, 2002, had withdrawn the approval for the land and had revoked the notice for the premium payment.

The company said it was dissapointed with the decision and on Sept 2, 2002, filed an appeal to the MB to maintain the status quo as it was making efforts to settle the premium before the deadline.

Azam Cemerlang further claimed it did not receive any reply on the appeal necessitating it to write to the director-general of the Public Complaints Bureau, Prime Minister's Department which replied that the Sepang land administrator need not give reasons for withdrawing approvals for land.

The company contended that the actions of the administrator was mala fide as the revocation was done before the deadline to settle the land premium was up.
Azam Cemerlang said the decisions of the two respondents should be set aside because the company was not given an opportunity to be heard before the revocation of approval was taken.

The respondents were represented by Senior Federal Counsel Rahayu Abu Talib. -- Bernama

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