Trespassing on 16 Mindef lands

KUALA LUMPUR, As of last May, as many as 16 pieces of land owned by the Ministry of Defence have been trespassed.

In a statement issued today, the Defence Ministry said the intrusions involved agricultural activities, building structures, squatter homes and houses of worship, as well as illegal logging.

Members of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) are now living on 471,836 hectares of land belonging to the Defence Ministry which includes army camp sites, shooting ranges and MAF housing areas.

Ministry of Defence lands can be classified into four categories, namely, Federal Land, Reserve Land under Section 62 of the National Land Code, Reserve Land Clause 166 of the Federal Constitution and land under the Military Manoeuvres Act 1983, the statement said.

It also said that these acts of trespassing by the public could have several implications, including losses to the government as Federal Land meant for the Defence Ministry had been illegally occupied and was not generating income.

It added that the illegal settlement could also pose safety issues especially on shooting range and manoeuvre land where the safety of the intruders could be at risk when the armed forces personnel conduct military operations and training there.

The trespassing could also hamper MAF development plans because of the difficulty of removing the illegal land operators from the area, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry has taken action by submitting an application for enforcement to the Federal Land and Mines Department and the state Land and Mines Office, as well as issued evacuation notices to the trespassers.

Other action that the ministry will be taking include putting up fences around the land as well as notice boards for Prohibited Area or Military Areas prohibiting entry as well as drawing up land rental or lease agreements for development.

The ministry will also apply for court orders for the trespassers to vacate the site and order the state authorities to conduct operations to acquire the land.

The public are advised not to trespass and if they are interested, they can apply to the Federal Land and Mines Department as the ministry has its own development plans for federal land, the statement said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)