KLANG MCA Public Complaints and Services Bureau will stage a peaceful protest, on Wednesday, against Klang Municipal Council’s move to increase the rental rate for Dewan Hamzah from RM245 to RM1,500 an hour.
Its deputy chief Datuk Tan Bok Koon said they received numerous complaints from couples intending to get married at the hall, saying the people were asking for the rental to be reduced to RM800 instead.
“We are asking that they reduce the rates or we will conduct a signature campaign and submit a memorandum to the state government,” he said.
The council approved the new rates last week, for RM15,000 for 10 hours or RM8,750 for a minimum of five hours. Previously, the hall was rented out at RM2,450 for 10 hours.
Dewan Hamzah was renovated at a cost of RM500,000 and is due to open for bookings at the end of March.
The fee increase goes against the state government’s incentive to newlyweds, in particular, as the former provides RM1,000 to newly married couples.
Despite the complaints, council president Datuk Mohamad Yasid Bidin refused to reduce the rates.
He said people were could still rent the hall by the hour at RM1,500, but they had to write in a request.
Tan said that Mohamad Yasid’s justification was unacceptable and there were 38 other halls that people could rent at cheaper rates.
“The RM500,000 refurbishment allocation is ratepayers’ monies. The council does not rely on steep rent fees to operate,” he said, adding that councillors were silent on this matter.
Resident K. Hothiyakumar said charging expensive fees went against the purpose of the community hall, which was meant for the lower and middle-income groups.
Dewan Hamzah was jointly built by the state government and Klang Town Board and opened on Jan 18, 1972.
It was named Dewan Hamzah after Selangor’s first Mentri Besar Datuk Hamzah Abdullah who served the state from 1947 to 1949.