Pakatan MPs after a meeting with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor on the new assessment rates on November 21. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 27, 2013.Opposition lawmakers hope to force Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to delay new assessment rates that have outraged city property owners by submitting boxes of objection letters on December 16, a day before a deadline for revisions.
Under the Local Government Act 1976, DBKL must all hear all objections on the proposed rate hikes submitted by property owners. The complainants must be allowed to be heard in person, or represented by an authorised agent.
This move is seen as forcing DBKL to delay implementing the new assessment rates set for January 1, 2014. The last rate revision was 21 years ago.
Batu MP Chua Tian Chang said he and several property owners will be at the City Hall building at 11am on December 16 with his Pakatan Rakyat (PR) colleagues to submit "boxes" of the objection letters.
"We will hand in the letters in bulk to DBKL," he told The Malaysian Insider.
"We hope this show of force will demonstrate to City Hall how wrong it is to raise assessment rates arbitrarily without consultations with the people.
"The PKR vice-president popularly known as Tian Chua said the MPs will inform residents’ associations in their constituencies on its plan as well as distribute pamphlets to urge property owners to submit their objection letters before the December 17 deadline.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said the aim was to bring the voice of the people to City Hall.
"We want to tell the people that their letters will be delivered to City Hall. Each letter represents every single unhappy owner.”
A legal expert on local government law had warned that those who did not file their objections to City Hall by the deadline would be subjected to the new valuation list and percentage rate to be determined by the local council and Federal Territories minister respectively.
Lawyer Derek Fernandez had told The Malaysian Insider: "If you don't object, then by default, the new annual value of the property will be fixed under the new valuation list for your property."
Fernandez also said the assessment rate hike set for January 1 could face delays if thousands of property owners sent in appeals that must be heard individually by City Hall.