KUCHING: Personnel from enforcement agencies led by Land and Survey Department demolished the premises and facilities built illegally on government land at the entrance to Santubong National Park yesterday.
In another operation the team also demolished 24 structures and buildings built without approval on state land and land belonging to Federal Land Commissioner at Semariang Tanah Merah area.
The Land and Survey Department, in a press statement yesterday, said the two operations, Ops Santubong and Ops Tanah Merah were carried out after the owners failed to comply with the eviction order issued by the department.
The department said “Ops Santubong’ was conducted to solve the issue of the leisure activities operator who had illegally collected entrance fee to Santubong National Park area after the company’s agreement with the authorities was terminated.”
The entrance fees were collected without approval from the Controller of National Parks and Nature Reserves which meant the operator had committed wrongful obstruction by not allowing visitors to enter the national park area if they did not pay the entrance fee.
“Besides that the premises the company operated at two main entrances to Santubong National Park were built on government’s land without approval from the Land and Survey Department,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, a shocked Dayang Noorazrina Abdullah, who operates mountain climbing and jungle trekking business at the entrance to Santubong National Park, insisted that she was licensed to conduct business at the entrance and maintain the jungle trek at the national park.
She said that her daughter, Dayang Noorazilla Jasni was also licensed to operate the restaurant at the entrance to Santubong National Park, adding their licence to operate jungle trekking and mountain climbing business would only expire in two years time, while the licence to operate restaurant expires next year.
Dayang Noorazrina claimed she charged the RM8 entrance fee after the authorities agreed with the terms stated when obtaining the letter of support from them.
Dayang Noorazrina said the minimal amount charged was used to hire people to maintain the cleanliness in the national park as her company was requested by the authorities to maintain the cleanliness of the national park.
While acknowledging that she received a letter on Oct 29 this year, giving her seven-day notice to vacate the premises, she claimed that she had replied the letter the next day but there was no reply from the authorities.
Dayang Noorazrina also refuted claims that she had encroached into state land as she claimed that a cable car project operator had acquired the area and agreed to grant her a small plot of land which had been surveyed for her to run her business.
“I am aware that many parties are not happy with us operating our business here because they want to take over the jungle trekking business here. I believe there is a conspiracy behind the demolition of our premises to kick us out from here and stop us from operating our business.”