Ms. Idza Hajar Ahmad Idzam assisted by Ms. Bailey Leong Pui Yee and Mr. Marvin Low Ming Le from ZUL RAFIQUE & Partners’ Litigation Practice Group had acted for River Retreat Sdn Bhd (“Applicant”) and succeeded in a Land Reference Proceeding at the High Court (“Court”) wherein the Applicant disputed on the amount of compensation (“Award”) granted by the Land Administrator in respect of a land acquisition exercise carried out by the Johor State Government pursuant to the Land Acquisition Act 1960. The subject matter of the Land Reference Proceeding concerns part of a land located at a strategic location i.e. District of Johor Bharu (“Scheduled Land”) where a Planning Permission was granted. The area of the land including the Scheduled Land was planned to be a major regional economic hub and conceived as a mixed commercial development nestled between the institute of higher learning in EduCity and Leisure and Hospitality development of Medini Zone A such as the Legoland theme park.

In essence, the Applicant’s solicitors had highlighted to the Court that the Land Administrator failed to take into consideration all the factors stipulated in the First Schedule of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 in its determination and assessment of the Award which resulted in the market value of the Scheduled Land reflected in the Award being inadequate and inaccurate. The Applicant’s solicitors also drew the Court’s attention to the flaws in the comparable lands adopted by the Land Administrator’s valuer which include inter alia failure to take into account the Planning Permission granted for the Scheduled Land. Other factors highlighted by the Applicant’s solicitors included the outdated transaction and that the transaction was not transacted at arm’s length in the comparable lands considered by the Land Administrator’s valuer.

Having heard both the Applicant’s solicitors and the Land Administrator’s Federal Counsel, the Court had revisited and reviewed the Award granted by the Land Administrator in respect of the Scheduled Land. With the assistance of a Government assessor and an assessor from the private sector, the Court held that the Applicant had successfully proven a prima facie case against the Land Administrator in respect of the market value of the Scheduled Land in the Award. The Compensation was increased to a total of RM25,281,602.75.

For more insight into this area of law, please contact our Partners in the Litigation Practice Group:
P Jayasingam
Wong Keat Ching
Thavaselvi Pararajasingam
Idza Hajar Ahmad Idzam
Farah Shuhadah Razali
Bailey Leong Pui Yee

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