Friday, May 30, 2008

Check documents before signing, Negri MB says

NEGRI Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan wants all state employees to be more than thorough when signing agreements on behalf of the state government or its agencies.

He said the state government had been involved in several legal tussles because the employees representing it were not meticulous when perusing the agreements entered into.

“Over the years, we have had several legal problems because of this. Some of these cases involving land and other issues were taken to court.

“We have managed to settle some out of court, but several more are still pending,” he said after chairing the state executive council meeting at Wisman Negri.

Mohamad was responding to the decision of the International Court of Justice that handed ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore, among others, because the acting Johor state secretary then had said that the state was not claiming ownership of the island.

“This decision on Pulau Batu Puteh is a valuable lesson to all government employees. They must know the implications of not being extra careful when signing official letters,”
he said.

Mohamad said employees entrusted with such tasks should always take the trouble to check and verify facts with other experts if necessary.

On a separate matter, Mohamad said the state government was selective in allowing new investors to set up operations here.

“We do not want to boast of being able to bring in billions of ringgit in investments at the expense of our environment,” he said.

The state received RM2.6bil in foreign investments last year compared to RM1.6bil in 2006.

He said the state government hoped to get RM1bil in new investments every year to attain a five per cent growth. The state has been achieving this in the past four years.

Mohamad said there were plenty of opportunities for investments here particularly in Kuala Pilah and Jelebu districts.

“We also have plenty of granite, particularly green granite, in the state and we welcome investors in this industry,” he said.

On the development of the new township of Bandar Seri Sendayan, he said of the 2,118ha, 616ha had been given to former settlers of Felda LBJ.

“We plan to turn another 400ha into an industrial area, 100ha for a new township, 260ha for housing and another 260ha for higher learning institutions.

“The remainder would be used foran administrative centre and left as green lungs,” he said.

He said the projects would take some 15 years to be completed and would eventually house more than 60,000 people.

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