HULU SELANGOR (April 13): The former Sungai Buaya Felda settlers and their descendants have finally resolved their land claims from the Selangor state government.
At a ceremony to hand over the land ownership application Form 5A to the 363 families that were involved in the land dispute here today, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the current state government is committed to resolve land issues within the state.
"When I was tasked to take on this honourable role as your Menteri Besar, we found that there are many land issues in Selangor, and hence we brought this up in our weekly exco meeting. This is the kind of things we do, we get lands for the people, but not apply land for ourselves like the other leaders," he said without naming anybody.
"You have waited 24 years to resolve this issue, none of the past Menteri Besar managed to get it done, but we did, because we are committed to do it, not just having the name as chief minister, unlike one of my predecessors, born from Hulu Selangor itself, but only held the name but did not solve the problem," he said.
While Azmin did not name any individual, it seemed to imply former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Haji Muhammad Taib, more commonly known as Mat Taib, who was born in Hulu Selangor as well.
Mat Taib left Umno in 2013 to join PAS, and he later left PAS to join PKR in 2015. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak specifically organised a press conference last year to announce that Mat Taib was re-joining Umno again.
The Sungai Buaya land issue, on the other hand, can be traced back to 1994, when Mat Taib was Selangor Menteri Besar.
Back then, the 363 former Felda settlers formed a company called Murna Jaya Development Bhd (MJD) to sell and develop the lands they collectively owned through a joint venture with a property developer.
In 1996, MJD formed a tie up with property developer Bandar Sungai Buaya Sdn Bhd (BSB) to develop the lands.
The development met a failure as BSB faced financial difficulties during the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis.
The former Sungai Buaya Felda settlers then sought compensation through the court but BSB's indebtedness was too high for it to return the lands as compensation.
In 2011, when Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was Menteri Besar, the Selangor State government took over these lands, which collectively measure about 419.57 hectares, and the issue remained unresolved until today.