HARDCORE quit rent defaulters in Perak are depriving the state of greater development, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.
Backing a move by the Perak Land and Mines Department to list its 220,720 defaulters with credit reporting agencies, he said the RM102.46mil in back payment owed to the state government could be used for the betterment of Perak and its people.
“Almost 60% of the state government’s revenue comes from quit rent collection.
“And so, for these defaulters to owe us so much means that the state government has less budget for development,” he told reporters after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting recently.
It was reported that the department would list hardcore defaulters, which includes a public listed company owing RM1.2mil, in the Credit Tip-Off Service (CTOS) and Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) after May 31, in its bid to recover quit rent arrears.
According to the department, residential property owners, especially those in the Kinta district, owed the highest sum at a total of RM43.57mil, followed by commercial property owners at RM14.36mil.
The rest were industrial properties (RM8.5mil), plantation (RM7.9mil) and others (RM796,873).
“These defaulters have been given ample warning, dating back to six or seven years ago but sad to say, they just don’t care.
“Whether the economy is good or not, they are not willing to pay up,” said Dr Zambry.
On his recent spot check in several parts of the city, Dr Zambry said many places in Ipoh had the potential to attract tourists.
“The relevant authorities need to take steps to enhance the aesthetic appearance of each place as well as promote the historical significance of old buildings and landmarks.
“There are many murals and also heritage trails in the city but more needs to be done in terms of cleanliness and safety.
“For example, the People’s Park has been left abandoned for years while the D.R. Seenivasagam Park looks nothing like the state park it is supposed to be,” he said, calling for cooperation from all including government departments and agencies, specifically the Ipoh City Council and its councillors, and the people to lend a hand in making Ipoh a city to be proud of for all.