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Published: Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 7:08:25 AM

City folk crowd DBKL's office to hand in letters against proposed hike

Keeping the deadline: City folk submitting their objection letters at the KL City Hall Property Management and Valuation Department in Menara TH Perdana.

Keeping the deadline: City folk submitting their objection letters at the KL City Hall Property Management and Valuation Department in Menara TH Perdana.

HUNDREDS of city residents made a beeline for the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Property Management and Valuation Department in Menara TH Perdana to submit letters of objection against the proposed property assessment hike.

Yesterday was the last day for city folk to submit the letters and the department was filled with people from 9am.

The lobby looked like a post office with people queuing to submit their letters. The officers stamped each letter to acknowledge receipt before placing it in a basket next to them.

After each basket was full, it was replaced with a new one. Those who did not make a copy of their letter took a picture of it with their mobile phones.

More than 40 officers were deployed in various locations within the department during the process.

“It has been non-stop over the past two weeks, but Monday was the busiest,” said City Hall officer Mohd Firdaus.

An officer receiving in objection letters sent in via post.
Bulk mail: A Pos Malaysia staff dropping off bags of objection letters posted by Kuala Lumpur residents.

“We did not even have time for a coffee break,” he joked. He said the officers worked in shifts to ensure minimum waiting time for ratepayers.

“People are still confused about the issue (assessment hike) and they have a lot of questions. Some were visibly upset,” he said.

According to Mohd Firdaus, about 20 to 30 DBKL staff were sorting through the letters according to zones.

“The bulk of the letters were received during the gathering with Kuala Lumpur MPs on Monday,” he said.

StarMetro observed that the majority of people who came to submit their letters were senior citizens. There were also many who came with young children.

“I am submitting on behalf of my friend,” said Darshana Sivanandan, adding that her friend who lived in Sri Putramas condo in Jalan Kuching could not come personally because of an accident.

Resident S.K. Arasu from Bandar Tun Razak said he only found time yesterday to submit the letter. “I had no choice since this is the last day,” he said.

On Monday, about 500 residents gathered at Dataran DBKL next to the City Hall headquarters, to protest the proposed increase.

More than 20,000 objection letters were handed over to Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib.

During the two-hour gathering, some angry residents had called for his resignation.

When asked to comment, Ahmad Phesal said he was merely doing his job.

“The increase in the assessment is a sensitive issue, especially at a time when the cost of living is going up. So, people are bound to be upset.

There can never be a good time to impose a hike.

“We have given the public a chance to voice their objection and I personally received the letters. This is the correct procedure, according to the Local Government Act 1976.

“Over the next three months, we will be reviewing the letters and any suggestions will definitely be taken into account.

“In fact, we are already discussing how to help pensioners, owners of low-cost houses, vacant plots and villagers, among others,” said Ahmad Phesal.

Tags / Keywords: Government, Central Region, Property, DBKL Tax

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