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Issues 23




A new dimension is on the way in the latest amendment to the Land Acquisition Act (Amendment) 2016 “LAA (A) 2016” for what we all know for public purposes and/or economic development purposes. The LAA (A) 2016 expands the law to include compulsory acquisition of sub-divided buildings. In response to this amendment, a new feature in the amendment to S.122 (d) of the NLC is that it will give power to the state authority to permit the use of more than one land use for any building. The amendment to LAA (A) 2016 also includes a new subsection to provide for the acquisition of underground land. It stipulates that a plan that describes the extent and depth of the area of the underground land to be acquired must be prepared by the land administrator.

Whether you like it or not, it is coming digging under your house or through your prized tall building! However, don’t panic. It is not new. It has been implemented in developing countries especially a city is becoming impossible to build road or other transportation means without encroaching one’s properties. It may sound insane but that is the reality. Have you wondered why there are cities where trains run through spaces in buildings or houses above tunnels? It is possible in the near future for such sight in Malaysia. Amazing!

However, you might be wondering how on earth government is going to implement this! What are the measures taken so as not to affect any valuable fruit trees or farm or building on your land.

Amendment to the LAA (A) 2016 is an attempt to address this question. The NLC will also be amended to correspond with the LAA (A) 2016. It is not that the new amendment gives authority to simply dig any lands but rather the new amendment under Section 92D of the NLC, it will state in the express condition of titles the limit of your land rights. With the coming of the new amendment, new land titles issued will be endorsed with the dept of underground land that you may have rights depending on the category of land. For the underground land, an amendment to the Land Code provides for the land registrar to issue a qualified title upon alienation of underground state land before issuing a final title. The good news is the amendment should not affect present land titles. 


For agriculture lands, your underground rights is limited to 6 meters dept from the land surface. Anything below 6 meters belongs to state government. Homestead category is limited to 10 meters dept while for industrial category your rights to land is limited to 15 meters dept.

With this amendment, the government has actually preempt the possibility that such land might be needed in the future without having to compensate land owners for anything acquired beyond what is alienated to you. It is simply a notice to everyone to be ready for the new phenomenal affecting land in the country.

Note: We at KIQ, have been consulted with and successfully litigated matters pertaining to land acquisition