SEREMBAN: For over a decade, exclusive chalets, mostly with swimming pools, were built around Pantai Hills illegally.
There is now a growing concern over the safety of those living on the foothill as many of these buildings had not gotten its structural designs approved by the local council.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminudin Harun said initial findings by them revealed these buildings, especially those on the steep slopes and owned individually, were built without the approval and knowledge of the state government.It is learnt that some of these premises, known as jungle or spiritual retreats, were rented out at as high as RM2,000 a night depending on the season.
“Almost 100 chalets there were built on agriculture land. The owners of these properties have not converted the land for commercial use. This had caused the state government to lose revenue.”
He said they are also concerned that some of the buildings on the slopes can pose a hazard to the residents and tourists renting it.
Aminuddin said some owners even drew water from a nearby river to fill up their swimming pools and used it for other purposes at these chalets.
“This is against the law. You cannot take water from the river and use it for commercial purpose,” he said.
He added that they are probing if the river water had been contaminated or pose a risk to the environment due to such usage.
Aminuddin, who had visited some of these properties, described the premises as impressive.
He said the state authorities decided to investigate the properties after receiving complaints from residents in the area.
State Housing and Local Government, Urban Well-being and new villages committee chairman Teo Kok Seong is heading the investigation.
“For a start, we have sent notices to the owners of these premises, telling them they had built illegal structures, not in accordance with Section 125 of the National Land Code,” he said.
He said they also found many of these properties were owned by outsiders.
Aminuddin said the government wants the owners of the premises to convert the status of their land first before taking any further action based on the committee’s recommendations.
On a separate matter, Aminuddin said the state government’s Hari Raya open house would be held from 11am to 3pm on June 15.
The event will be held at the Seremban Municipal Council hall.