Sun Hai Yim Yeong Temple committee chairman Ooi Hock Keong said he was shocked when the committee received a letter from the state government asking for a higher TOL renewal fee of RM2,500 instead of the RM200 which they had been paying for years.
“We then met up with Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Lau Keng Ee to ask for help as we could not afford the higher renewal fee.
“The temple committee is grateful that the state government has agreed to reduce the fee,” he said.
In a press conference, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng explained that the temple was asked to pay a higher rate because places of worship were classified under the business category in the Penang Land Rules 2014.
“We will amend the Penang Land Rules 2014 to add in a ‘places of worship’ category. This means that the places of worship only need to pay the same rate as last year for the TOL renewal.
“The amendment needs to be gazetted and it might take up to a few months.
“Therefore, I urge temples and other places of worship to make their TOL renewal payment after the amendment.
“For those who already made their payment, the state government will pay back the extra amount,” he said.
Also present were state Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow and Clan Jetty JKKK secretary Chew Chong Chee.