Forty Years On and Still Waiting for Land Title

Ten families have been living in rumah papan (wooden houses) which is adjacent to the Land Transport Department in Kampung Simee since the fifties. From the late sixties onwards they have been writing to the Land Office to allocate the land to them with no success. Yet two years ago the Land Office allocated two lots of land to outsiders.

The residents comprising single mothers, contract and odd job workers and retirees formed an ‘Action Committee for Kampung Simee Families’ and had several meetings with the Land Office requesting for land.

Eventually they were given Temporary Titles on March 2013 and were told to pay a premium between RM13,000 to RM15,000; which they did. In June 2013, the Land Office wrote to the Survey Department to survey the land and demarcate the ten plots. The Survey Department returned the letter to the Land Office stating that the plan sent by the Land Office overlapped with the plot given to the two outsiders and they cannot carry out the survey.

I went to the Land Office three times with Jaswinder Singh and Alexis Raj, members of the action committee enquiring about the problem. We were not able to meet Tn Hj Mohamad Hariri Bin Ahmad, Assistant Land Officer (Penolong Pegawai Tanah Tinggi), with whom the residents had their meetings. However, he informed us through his staff that he is aware of the problem and would resolve it. No time frame was given as to when it would be done. We met Zaiteena binti Wan Nasir, Director General, Kinta (Ketua Pengarah, Pegawai Daerah) and she said that she would ask Hariri to call me; he never called.

Jaswinder said the residents are concerned as they borrowed money to pay the premium about a year ago and still do not have their plot of land. The irony of it is the residents have received notice to pay quit rent. The residents are worried for how long more they have to wait to get the title for their individual plots of land.


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