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Office has no power to prosecute
The Star 07/10/2006 By K. SUTHAKAR

The Land and Mines Office has no power to prosecute developers for failure to submit strata title applications within the stipulated time.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah said the Office only prepares the cases for the prosecution to be undertaken by the State Legal advisor.

He was commenting on the 2005 Auditor-General Report that the Office prosecuted only 13 landowners for failing to submit the applications within six months after the Certificate of Fitness (CF) was issued for the buildings.

Abdul Rashid, who heads the state Religious Affairs, Land Affairs and Land Development, Entrepreneurial Development and Cooperatives committee, said he was aware of some problems relating to the enforcement of the Strata Title Act.

He hoped the problems would be resolved on the return of an officer who was attending a six-month course at the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan).

He said the state might appoint more staff if there was a shortage of manpower.

In the report, the Auditor General rapped the Office for only prosecuting 13 landowners. “This number is too few compared to the many who have yet to submit the applications.

“The level of enforcement and prosecution is still low and unsatisfactory,” it said.

The report stated that 258 high-rise projects in the state were issued with CF from 1999 to August 2005.

Of this, it said the office issued notices to 144 landowners who failed to submit the applications within the stipulated time frame.

“Notices were not sent to the remaining 114 landowners as the Office did not have their addresses,” the report said.


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