TANGKAK: Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said land owners in Johor owed the state some RM83mil in unpaid taxes.
With such an overwhelming amount, he urged the defaulters to pay up by early next year.
Speaking to villagers in Kampung Telok Rimba near here, Abdul Ghani said the uncollected taxes are needed for state-funded programmes including scholarships for Johor students.
“We have been very lenient and only imposed a small penalty for late payment, but if they continue to ignore the notices, the state would have to repossess the land,” he said when presenting land titles to 176 villagers in the village.
Speaking of abusing land titles, the Johor government, said Abdul Ghani, would not approve the purchase of land and its sale for the purpose of marrying a second wife.
Applications for state land or the sale for such plots would be reviewed by the state executive council and as Mentri Besar, Abdul Ghani would have the final say over the matter.
The state executive council, he said, had received many reasons on why the owners had wanted to sell their plots after receiving their land titles.
“Some wanted to fund their children’s higher education, while some said they were getting old.
“Land is an asset to the people and they should value every plot they receive from the state by cultivating their plots for better income.”
The Johor government, added Abdul Ghani, had been fair in land allocation to the people including giving titles to the plots in the new villages for the Chinese community.
Most of the new villages, he said, were occupied some 30 years ago and many of the homes there did not meet the requirements for government to issue titles to their plots.
“However, we reviewed their applications and gave the consideration that they lived there for many years,” he added.
SOURCE: THE STAR, DECEMBER 7, 2010