Heirs of Sultan Zainal Abidin III seek to revise court's decision over inheritance land

KUALA TERENGGANU: A total of 309 heirs of Sultan Zainal Abidin III has filed an application for a revision against the Terengganu Syariah Court of Appeal’s decision here regarding the status of half of the Cap Zuriat Sungai Mengkuang (CZSM) land reclaimed by the state government in 1923.

Syarie lawyer Musa Awang representing the heirs said the application was filed by Tengku Ibrahim Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin on behalf of the heirs based on Article 49A(3) of the Law for the Self-Government of Terengganu.

"In their application, the heirs named the State Government of Terengganu as the respondent,” he told reporters when met at the court here on Wednesday (Aug 17).

He said the heirs, among others, applied for the court to declare that half of the CZSM land still remains as undivided inheritance and that the land, measuring over 5,463 hectares (13,500 acres) in the Kemaman district, which had been developed as Felda areas, to be replaced with any other land through istibdal (replacement) method.

The lawyer said Tengku Ibrahim had, in 2003, filed a division and inheritance claim against the state government for the estate of the late Sultan Zainal Abidin III.

He said in 2005, the Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court had ordered the state government to issue a Title Deed for half of the land in the name of Sultan Zainal Abidin III or to pay compensation in a form deemed appropriate according to the current values of the property.

The court also ordered that the inheritance land be divided among the rightful heirs, he said.

"The state government then filed an appeal against the court’s decision and on July 16, 2007, the Terengganu Syariah Court of Appeal panel allowed the appeal and ruled that the previous court’s decision as void.

"The decision, however, did not mean that half of the land was no longer inheritance land. The Court of Appeal’s decision did not touch on or resolve that issue,” he said.

In fact, Musa said no Syariah Court had ever declared that half of the CZSM land was no longer Sultan Zainal Abidin III’s inheritance.

The lawyer further said that in August 2020, after obtaining a Power of Attorney from 245 heirs of Sultan Zainal Abidin III, Tengku Ibrahim had appointed a lawyer to represent the heirs in matters relating to the application and settlement of the land issue.

"Since the original location of the land had been developed as Felda areas, it can be replaced with any other land by the state government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tengku Ibrahim said they had convened meetings with the state government’s representatives and had repeatedly sent letters to the Menteri Besar to discuss the matter since May last year, but had not received any response thus far.

"That’s why we had to this matter to court today,” he said. - Bernama

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