IPOH, Nov 19 — About a quarter of Perak’s 1.2 million landowners did not pay their quit rent, state Land and Mines Department (PTG) said.
Its director Datuk Syed Mokthar Syed Iddris said that was about 213,000 landowners.
“Quit rent arrears in the state has reached a serious level. These owners owed the department a whopping RM79.8 million,” he said.
“This is a huge amount and their refusal to pay has affected the planning and management of the state,” he added.
Speaking to reporters at a recent press conference, Syed Mokthar warned that the state would take stern action based on the National Land Code 1965.
“This year, we issued 2,053 notices of demand and 213 notices of land seizure to landowners who refused to pay,” he said.
“Their refusal to pay means they have lost their right to claim the land,” he added.
Syed Mokthar said to encourage defaulters to pay up, the department would implement the ‘Visit, Advice and Pay’ programme.
“Under this programme, our officers will visit owners, who have been identified and advise them to pay up,” he said.
“However, if they still refused to do so even after the visit, we will proceed to seize their land,” he added.
Syed Mokthar said state Land and Mines Department would work closely with the National Registration Department to identify and locate owners who have yet to pay their quit rent.
He also said his department had appointed Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) as one of its collecting agents.
“Through this facility, landowners can pay their quit rent through online banking or counter service at 48 BSN branches in the state,” he said.
He added that payment of quit rent could also be made at post offices and banks such as Maybank, CIMB, RHB and Public Bank.
“Through this programme, the quit rent collection has increased from more than RM85,000 in 2007 to more than RM16.2 million as of October this year,” he said.
“However, we still have a long way to go,” he added.