KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need to table a White Paper on Malay Reserve Land as the total area is not shrinking, says Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
The Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister denied allegations by certain parties that Malay Reserve Land across the country was in decline, saying that only Kedah, Kuala Lumpur and Perak saw a slight decrease.
"The total (area) of Malay Reserve Land did not decrease, and that is why I said there was no loss incurred from that perspective.
"So I don't think we need a White Paper on this matter," he said in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Abd Muttalib (PN-Maran) during Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday (March 29).
Ismail wanted the ministry to list its measures to address the issue of delays for compensation when converting Malay Reserve Land status and whether or not there is a need to table a White Paper on the matter.
Nik Nazmi explained that there were two approaches taken by state governments in converting Malay Reserve Land.
The first is to replace the same area of land while the other approach is to consider the strategic value of the lots, he said.
"Sometimes (the state governments) look at strategic value as the size may be different but the value is the same, so that is also one consideration involving the replacement of Malay Reserve Land," he said.
According to Nik Nazmi, as of Dec 31, the total area of gazetted Malay Reserve Land stood at 4,996,406.42ha in the peninsula.
"This is an increase of 0.67% compared to 4,963,190.80ha in 2021.
"The ministry obtained the data... from the relevant authorities under the state governments," he said.
Nik Nazmi said each state had recorded an increase in Malay Reserve Land, except for Kedah which saw a decrease from 721,888.93 ha to 716,537.28ha, followed by Kuala Lumpur (1,003.56ha to 999.48ha) and Perak (953,042 ha to 953,040ha).
"The other states in the peninsula recorded an increase," he added.