The 36ha land in Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang in Merbok earmarked for a mixed development project. – ZAINUDIN AHAD
SUNGAI PETANI: Bandar Saujana Sdn Bhd, the housing developer which demolished a candi in Lembah Bujang, said it did not know the site was historical.
Its project manager Saw Guan Keat said they had carried out a land search at the Kedah Land Office on Jan 14 this year before buying the eight lots of land from the previous owner, another housing developer.
“The search clearly stated that the land has no encumbrances. The company proceeded to buy the land in February. When we did another search at the Land Office on July 30, again, we did not find any encumbrance,” he said yesterday.
A building plan for a mixed development project, submitted by the previous developer company, was approved by the Sungai Petani Municipal Council and the state exco between 1994 and 1995, said Saw.
“We had a site visit before land clearing started in September. We saw a stone structure (the candi). We did not know what it was,” he said, adding that after clearing, the contractors had removed and disposed of the bricks and pebbles.
The company, he said, only knew it had demolished a candi after reading about it in news reports.
“If we had known the structure was a historical site, we would have not have cleared it.
“Our company merely took over the project, which was approved back in 1994 or 1995,” he said, adding that he had lodged a report at the Merbok police station on Nov 29.
The company’s website showed that the land has been earmarked for a mixed development project, which will become the Merbok township.