Bintawa land owners told to give ‘kopi-O’ for titles

Violet Yong

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Dec 30: Landowners for some 10 land lots in Bintawa Industrial Estate have alleged that they are being asked to give between RM10,000 and RM50,000 in ‘kopi-O’, or bribes, before they can receive their land titles.

Revealing this at a press conference today, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said she received direct complaints from some landowners last week and strongly cautioned them to be careful not to fall into the trap.

The allottees, who were relocated from Petanak to the Bintawa site, built their factories on the land under Temporary Occupation Permits (TOL) issued by Land and Survey department in 1990.

According to Yong, she had been consistently chasing the state government and Land and Survey department over the issue of approving and issuing individual titles for this group of people as they had been waiting for nearly 30 years since then.

“I am glad to note that Land and Survey had finally taken the step to investigate, process and issue letters for these people. It means they will receive their respective land titles soon and no longer be waiting in limbo. They can also proceed to expand their business.”

Yong was dismayed to find out that after the department had finally issued letters of approval to seven allottees last week, they had been approached by certain unscrupulous people asking for ‘kopi-O’.

“I received complaints that there are some ‘middle men’ asking for ‘kopi-O’ between RM10,000 and RM50,000 depending on the land size. Failing to give the bribe, they were told that they may not get their land titles,” Yong said.

She also alleged that the “middle men” claimed it was their hard effort to get the state government to approve the said titles, which Yong refuted as false.

Alarmed and worried over the threat that their land titles would be withdrawn if they didn’t pay the bribes, Yong urged the landowners to remain united, be careful and not give in.

“Once I have concrete evidence of such allegation, I will not hesitate to report this matter to the police and Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC),” she said. —DayakDaily