PKR’s Batu MP Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua, explained that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is merely assisting KL residents in sending in their protest letters against assessment rate hikes to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) en masse next Monday, before the December 17 deadline.
“It’ll make people miss the deadline, unless it’s a conspiracy for people not to hand in their objection letters,” Chua told The Malay Mail Online today.
“That’s ridiculous. Why would they want to have a roadblock? It’s a Monday. There’s a deadline,” added the PKR vice-president.
News portal The Malaysian Insider quoted Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar yesterday as saying that the police will be forced to set up roadblocks in the city on Monday, as the organisers of the purported PR rally have yet to inform the authorities.
But Chua insisted today that the event was neither a rally nor a mass protest, but simply a “mass handing-in of objection letters” intended to create awareness of the deadline to submit the objections. Property owners who do not file their objections by then may be deemed to have consented to the increase, lawyers previously said.
“A lot of people don’t know when to hand them in. We’re there to facilitate. DBKL has been informed,” he said.
Despite the vocal public remonstrations over the proposal to raise city taxes reportedly by nearly three times the existing amounts, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said last Sunday that DBKL has only received objection letters from fewer than 11,000 people so far.
But some residents associations may be waiting to do so on December 16, with at least one representing the Overseas Union Garden (OUG) township vowing to send the letters in by the truckload on the day.
Tengku Adnan has confirmed that KL property owners will not be penalised for paying old assessment rates until the quantum of the city’s proposed tax hike is announced by March.
The proposed increase on property valuation has sparked public outcry since last month, after property owners received DBKL notices informing them of hikes between 100 and 250 per cent to their land valuation.
The notice did not state that DBKL is also considering a revision of the assessment rate, which is six per cent for residential properties, and 12 per cent for commercial.