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The Land Acquisition Act 1960 in Malaysia becoming disaster for the landowners with the

revolution of those amendments. The current Land Acquisition Act, prior to amendments of 2016,
does not have precise provisions on subdivided buildings and underground land matters, which
makes obstacle for MRT Corporations to acquire land for their development. The new amendments
under section 7(2) of LAA 2016 allow the land administrator to acquire subdivided buildings and
underground land. Impose of such amendment makes the landowners more anxious. The
government does not looks into landowners perspective when they amend the law. However, the
new amendments under Section 37(1) of LAA 2016 also allow objections by interested parties who
are aggrieved with the compensation offered by the land administrator. The landowners have the
rights to object when they dissatisfy with the compensation offered by the land administrator.
Another amendment is the increases on the limit of compensation when appealing to the court.
With this amendment, registered proprietors of the acquired land can now also appeal to the High
Court when they are not satisfied with the Land Administrator’s award of compensation under
Section 35 (Withdrawal from Acquisition) and Part VII (Temporary Occupation and Use of Land).
Prior to amendment, landowners could only appeal to the High Court when they are not satisfied
with the award of compensation under Section 14. This amendments deemed to favorable for the
landowners.

During the reading in the Parliament, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk
Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar argued that “Acquisition of land for Malaysia’s economic
development and for a locality however must meet stringent conditions so that the interests and
welfare of the people are not affected”. In other words, the amendments shall not affected the
interest of the landowners. In the case of acquisition of land for underground development, the
technical aspects and safety of those above must be considered before a project can be
implemented. “If there is a need for them to vacate their premises temporarily for their safety while
the underground project is carried out, compensation will be paid”. Issues of underground land
acquisition and compensation were extensively discussed during the reading when building owners
in Jalan Sultan in the city centre demonstrated against the construction of the underground MRT
line in their area.

The entire concept of land acquisition deemed to be injustice for the landowners. The
government does not look into landowners perspective during the enactment of Land Acquisition
Act 1960. Besides that, there are few amendments was not favorable for the landowners. However,
the new amendments in certain provision on 2016 are likely acceptable among the landowners. The
main reason for the amendments on Land Acquisition Act 1960 is to speed up any process related to
land affairs and to provide heavier penalties against those who violate the relevant laws. The
government should define public benefit clearly in the act and consider the landowners before
making any amendments on land acquisitions.
vi) Amendment to subsection 37(1)

This has been amended to include amended to include the words “or any person interested
pursuant to any compensation made under section 35 or Part VII” after the words “section 10 or
11”.

Any person interested in any scheduled land who, pursuant to any notice under section 10 or
11 or any person interested pursuant to any compensation made under section 35 or Part VII, who
has made a claim to the Land Administrator in due time and who has not accepted the Land
Administrator’s award thereon, or had accepted payment of the amount of such award under protest
as to the sufficiency thereof may, subject to this section, make objection to:

(a) the measurement of the land

(b) the amount of the compensation

(c) the person to whom it is payable

(d) the apportionment of the compensation

With this amendment, registered proprietors of the acquired land can now also appeal to the
High Court when they are not satisfied with the Land Administrator’s award of compensation under
Section 35 (Withdrawal from Acquisition) and Part VII (Temporary Occupation and Use of Land).

Prior to amendment, landowners could only appeal to the High Court when they are not
satisfied with the award of compensation under Section 14.