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Rahayu Mahzam on State Lands Protection Bill

12:21 Min

Private landowners who extended their property to adjoining state land by building structures on it ended up disrupting PUB drainage improvement works in the area. They refused to remove the structures, despite extensive engagement and multiple deadline extensions by the authorities. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) eventually filed charges against them for trespassing on state land. While this was going on, PUB incurred additional costs for temporary flood measures. Such an act, cited by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Law Rahayu Mahzam in Parliament on Wednesday (Nov 30), will now face heavier penalties, under proposed changes to better support SLA in protecting state land from misuse and damage. Offenders will face fines of up to S$50,000 or jail of up to six months, or both, for unauthorised activities on or damaging state land. For continuing offences, a further fine of up to S$500 will be imposed for each day during which the offence continues after conviction. Higher penalties may be imposed for a repeat offence of disposing rubbish or waste on state land using a vehicle. The State Lands Protection Bill also provides for a wider scope of compensation. The court may order a convicted offender to pay monetary compensation to the Government for any loss or damage suffered. Ms Rahayu said these amendments will ensure that the relevant authorities have sufficient powers to take enforcement action. She said the up-to-date and comprehensive enforcement framework will better protect state land against improper use and damage. "This is necessary as land is one of our most valuable resources for the future," she said.    

Private landowners who extended their property to adjoining state land by building structures on it ended up disrupting PUB drainage improvement works in the area. They refused to remove the structures, despite extensive engagement and multiple deadline extensions by the authorities. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) eventually filed charges against them for trespassing on state land. While this was going on, PUB incurred additional costs for temporary flood measures. Such an act, cited by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Law Rahayu Mahzam in Parliament on Wednesday (Nov 30), will now face heavier penalties, under proposed changes to better support SLA in protecting state land from misuse and damage. Offenders will face fines of up to S$50,000 or jail of up to six months, or both, for unauthorised activities on or damaging state land. For continuing offences, a further fine of up to S$500 will be imposed for each day during which the offence continues after conviction. Higher penalties may be imposed for a repeat offence of disposing rubbish or waste on state land using a vehicle. The State Lands Protection Bill also provides for a wider scope of compensation. The court may order a convicted offender to pay monetary compensation to the Government for any loss or damage suffered. Ms Rahayu said these amendments will ensure that the relevant authorities have sufficient powers to take enforcement action. She said the up-to-date and comprehensive enforcement framework will better protect state land against improper use and damage. "This is necessary as land is one of our most valuable resources for the future," she said.    

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