KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — A land owner has secured leave before the Kuantan High Court to challenge a decision by the Pahang state government and others over the approval granted to a private firm for the alienation of lands making up the Genting Main Access Roads.
GM Aero Support Sdn Bhd director Khoh Siew Kim, who owned four plots of land within the disputed area, claimed the Pahang state government's decision last year to dispose of its ownership through the issuance of land titles in favour of Genting Highlands Berhad (GHB) was non-compliant of existing guidelines and procedures.
At a press conference today, Khoh said he was made aware of news reports claiming that toll plazas might be built in Gohtong Jaya along the Genting Main Access Road subsequent to the state government's 2022 decision.
Built in the 1970s, the Genting Main Road, Genting Outer Ring Road, the Chin Swee Bypass — collectively referred to as the Genting Main Access Road — spans from Genting Sempah to Gohtong Jaya and all the way up to the peak of Gunung Ulu Kali.
He lamented that should the land be disposed of to a private entity for the purpose of toll collection, it would affect the rights of those wishing to travel to Genting Highlands for leisure.
“The main access road built in the 1970s has been used by the public including other landowners in Genting Highland until today.
“If the ownership transfer (including the Genting Main Access Road) is affirmed, then other owners will lose access to their land.
“I think freedom of movement is a basic right. That is why I am taking this initiative (judicial review) to challenge the decision (of land transfer) as a means to defend our rights (to travel freely),” Khoh said.
Under the National Land Code and the respective State Land Rules, any individual, organisation or government agency can apply for any state land.
When the state authority approves the application, the land will be alienated and a land title will be issued to the applicant.
Khoh also expressed his disappointment at the local authorities for failing to understand the gravity of the ongoing dispute that will significantly impact Malaysians and tourists alike as the private entity in ownership of the disputed road would have the right to do as they please.
When asked if the recent construction of the toll plaza which went viral recently was possibly true, Khoh said it was 'legally' allowed since the roads were now under private ownership.
High Court judge Datuk Radzi Harun granted leave to GM Aero Support Sdn Bhd last week to commence judicial review after the court was told that the Attorney General Chambers has no objection to his legal challenge.
In the judicial review, GM Aero Support Sdn Bhd is seeking court orders to quash the decision made by the Pahang state government, the Pahang Land Office, Bentong District and Land Office and the Pahang Land Registry Office in granting approval to alienate the eight plots of lands to GHB.
They are also seeking an order to quash the decision by the Pahang Land Office, Bentong District and Land Office and the Pahang Land Registry Office in issuing the Land Titles for Genting Main Access Road.
Among others, they are also seeking a court declaration that both decisions were made without any authority of law and/or made ultra vires the National Land Code and is illegal; including a revocation of the land titles upon delivery of the court order.
It was reported last month that there were plans to charge road users travelling to Genting Highlands, and Lingkaran Cekap Sdn Bhd, which manages roads on the highland, saying the company would manage toll operations.
However, the Bentong municipal council was reported to have issued a stop work order as the developer did not comply with the conditions or sought approval from the local authorities before commencing work.
The Pahang state government was also reported to be in the dark over the plans for a toll station after state executive councillor Leong Yu Man said the matter was not raised during the executive council meeting.