If a transaction occurs with land not authorised by the state, has a criminal act been committed?

By Naragan N.

In the case of the 6.5 acres sold to the Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang by the Penang State Government, there are clear conditions which state that ‘'tanah yang diberi milik ini tidak boleh dipindah milik, cagar, pajak, pajakan kecil atau sebarang bentuk urusniaga (the land cannot be transferred, mortgaged, pawned, sub-let or used as a business instrument).

The Koperasi has, in violation of these conditions, entered into a joint venture agreement with Nusmetro Sdn Bhd and used the land as a business instrument. It has sold condominium units to be built on that piece of land. Visit http://www.apartment-penang.com/2007/12/oasis-condominium-penang.html.

Since this is not allowed in the conditions of sale, hasn't a criminal act been committed? Lawyers who are familiar with this issue need to comment.

Another point is that, the CM of Penang often comments that if he obstructs the development he will be sued for RM150 million by Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd. But if in the first place the State Government only recognizes Koperasi as the owner and not Nusmetro per the term of the sale, does Nusmetro have locus standi to sue the State Government on this matter? This is another point that Lawyers who read this article and are competent to comment need to comment on.

These are key issues which need to be explored. If the CM does not explore these angles, then I accuse him of utter incompetence – because these are valid perspectives which have significant implications to the critical Kg Buah Pala case on hand now.
He cannot gloss over them as he seems to be doing now.