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Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 8:20:36 AM
KOTA BARU: The Kelantan Government has formed a task force to check on the illegal encroachment by syndicates into government land resulting in losses of millions of ringgit in revenue, said Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
He said that over the past couple of years, the syndicate had carried out illegal logging activities on government land in an area of more than 1,000ha.
“Prior to this, we thought that the land clearing was done by villagers but after spot checks in the forested areas, (we found that) large tracts of land had actually been cleared by the syndicate.
“The task force comprises police, state forestry enforcement officers, land office personnel and other related agencies to catch and book the culprits which are behind the syndicate,” he told reporters after attending the state executive councillor’s meeting here yesterday.
He said that the government had been lenient to villagers who had taken government land to plant crops.
However, after discovering that large tracts of land had been cleared systematically, the government decided to put its foot down.
“We will bring these culprits to court and we want to put a stop to such illegal activities.
“The task force will be given time to investigate the case thoroughly,” he said.
The syndicate was using villagers in to open up government land.
In an unrelated matter, Mohd Amar said that the government would be gazetting 2,374ha of Felda land in Gua Musang to enable the government to break it into lots and give land grants to the settlers.
The five Felda settlements involved were Felda Aring 1 and Felda Chiku 1 to 4.
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