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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Aug 17: Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian today advised landowners who have yet to apply for a refund for overpaying their land premiums to do so quickly as the deadline is this coming Oct 31.
He said ever since Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced a reduction of up to 50 per cent on land premiums in May 2018, there were still some eligible landowners who had yet to apply for the refund.
“For Batu Kawa alone, 584 lots of lands are eligible for a refund, but 172 have not applied. The last date to apply is Oct 31 this year. It’s coming up soon,” he told reporters at Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Batu Kawa Service Centre this morning.
For Sungai Apong in Pending, Dr Sim, who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman, said a total of 205 lots were eligible for a refund, but 51 had not applied. For Kota Sentosa, 626 are eligible for a refund, but 86 had yet to apply.
“So, we are asking the public, please check if you are eligible for a refund, meaning those who paid more for land premium, depending on land size. Our (state government) new policy is to help the urban poor,” he said.
Dr Sim explained that the refund mechanism was not automatic because the state government needed updated information of landowners to ensure the refund process is done properly.
He said, for example, if a landowner passed away, then the details for the payout of refund should be updated to the next of kin of that landowner who had paid the undiscounted premium rate.
“Otherwise, if we pay to the wrong person, then the people would complain again,” he explained.
Dr Sim also highlighted the specific areas where eligible landowners who have yet to apply for a refund.
For Batu Kawa, the affected land lots are at Batu Kawa Resettlement Scheme Phase 1, Phase 2 Stage 1, Phase 2 Stage 2 (non-Muslim), Phase 2 Stage 2 (Muslim), Phase 3 and the Stapok Resettlement Scheme.
For Kota Sentosa, those who have yet to apply for refund are at the Stampin Resettlement Scheme Phases 1 to 3, and in Pending at the Sungai Apong Resettlement Scheme.
Dr Sim is also engaging community leaders of the areas to reach out to the affected landowners to remind them to apply for a refund. — DayakDaily