Is the Selangor state in a conundrum over land acquisition for the EKVE project?

THE Selangor state government may find itself in a conundrum over the court order issued by the Shah Alam High Court recently against the State Financial Official after it failed to pay compensation and accumulated interests over the acquisition a private property in Beverly Heights, Ampang.

The High Court issued the Section 33 Certificate of Judgement (Section 33 COJ) in favour of the landowner of the bungalow plot, Pristine Power Sdn Bhd, whose director Christine Chin claimed is “a powerful court order that must be complied with by the state government”.

According to The Star, the Land Administrator had issued an award (Borang H) on Oct 17, 2018 for the sum of RM11.2 mil to the landowner. FocusM has sighted the document but according to the article “not a single sen has been paid”.

Part of the land belonging to the bungalow lot was acquired by the state under the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) for the construction of the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) which has since been abandoned.

Construction started in 2017 but somehow halted in 2018, leaving landowners and the state in a fix. With the Section 33-COJ issued, the state no longer has the choice but to fork out the compensation amounting to a total of RM13.8 mil.

This, according to Chin, includes an accumulated late payment penalty of some RM2.6 mil and still counting on a monthly basis. “My lawyers told me that it is very rare for the courts to issue the Section 33 Certificate of Judgement.”

The state of the temporarily halted East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) project as of May 2022 (Pic credit: SZ – Eagle Eye Studios)

The exit from Beverly Heights into the Middle Ring Road 2 is also very dangerous due to a blind spot. The matter has been reported to Ampang MP Rodziah Ismail who has unfortunately not instructed the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council to look into improving the exit junction.

The first court order to pay the quantum of compensation was first issued in August 2022 by the High Court of Shah Alam. Since then, the litigant has issued seven reminders to the office of the Selangor Menteri Besar but the issue is still not resolved.

The second court order to pay was issued by the Shah Alam High Court on June 15 this year under Section 33 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960. “This is the ultimate court order for the Selangor State Government,” Chin pointed out.

“We hope as a state government aligned to the Madani government, the state will comply with the court order to pay. All we want is to have our compensation, for what was taken away from us based on the market price at the material time.”

An important precedent

Citing the example of the Sabah state, Chin recalled the fact that litigant Petrojasa had obtained the Section 33-COJ for RM6.56 mil against the Sabah Government in 2002.

After the Sabah state government refused to pay citing it did not have the funds, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court subsequently issued an order of mandamus in favour of the litigant. This required the state government to meet its legal obligation.

So the precedence has been set. To pay or not to pay, the Selangor state government is obviously in a dilemma. This is because it had gone ahead with the land acquisition.

If the state government pays out of its own coffers – and if the concessionaire fails to reimburse the money back to the state – this could mean that the money will be paid out of the taxpayers’ fund. – Sept 29, 2023

Main pic credit: Selangorkini 

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