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In order to justify the assessment rate hike in area governed by the Kajang Municipal Council, the council should also be cooperative with Kajang taxpayers, and not unilaterally asking Kajang taxpayers to be cooperative with the council, by explaining to them how effective is the council in collecting taxes and delayed payments for the past 19 years


Statement
by Lau Weng San

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday): In order to justify the assessment rate hike in area governed by the Kajang Municipal Council, the municipal council should also be cooperative with Kajang taxpayers, and not unilaterally asking Kajang taxpayers to be cooperative with the council, by explaining to them how effective is the council in collecting taxes and delayed payments for the past 19 years. 

Since the Prime Minister Adullah Badawi has urged state and local governments to be more effective in collecting taxes and money owed by traders, merchants and contractors, therefore the Selangor DAP believes that the Kajang Municipal Council has the responsibility to carry out the followings before they decide on any increment on the assessment rate: 

  1. To launch a Public Hearing, whereby local councillors, MPs and SAs for Kajang area, representatives from the ruling coalition and oppositions, hawkers associations, traders association and resident association will be invited to attend and inquire on the current and future expenditures of the council.
  2. To announce those who delay and owe huge payments to the council and required them to settle the amounts before year-end. Failing so the council should refer them to the court. It is the right of the taxpayers to know should the council manages to collect the delayed payments, they need to increase the assessment\ rate or not.
  3. The municipal council has suggested to the state government of a hike of between 5 to 10%, and the council even favours the maximum 10% hike, but the taxpayers need to know whether the 10% hike is justifiable or not. The council has to be reminded that it is not a profit-making entity and thus the hike must be realistic in the sense that it must meet the current and future requirement of the council, and not for the sake in increasing the assessment rate.

Since there is no election for local councilors in Malaysia while the PM has pushed for greater transparency in public service, it is the view of the Selangor DAP that the Kajang Municipal Council must clarify these enquiries before it decides on any hike in assessment rate  

It must also be clarified that the Selangor DAP is not opposing to the hike but it must comes along with higher transparency.  Failing so, DAP Selangor will oppose to any hike in assessment rate. 

On the other hand, DAP Selangor also urged the council to exercise higher precaution in itís expenditure in lieu of the recent price hikes of various goods. The council needs to consider its impacts on the people, especially on the poor whenever it decides to raise the rate. 

(12/11/2004)


* Lau Weng San, Selangor State Publicity Secretary