SUBANG division MCA chairman Lee Wei Kiat has criticised the new assessment rates being imposed on the owners of small-medium industries (SMI) in Sungai Buloh New Village, Shah Alam, where the amount has gone up four -fold.
He said at least 1,000 SMIs were affected by the sudden increase.
“A factory owner who used to pay RM221.50 is now required to pay RM1,661. Another factory owner who used to pay RM10,123 is now charged RM37,953,” he added.
Lee questioned how the owner’s land value could skyrocket when the exercise to convert the land from agriculture status to industrial was not completed.
“Conversion of land status is an expensive affair and before the exercise can be done, the assessment rate has been increased. Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) must revert to the old rates until the land conversion matter is resolved,” he said.
On Thursday, 47 factory owners approached Lee at the Subang Jaya MCA office to help resolve the issue.
Poon Hon, 60, said he used to pay RM4,408 in assessment but recently he received a notice requesting him to pay RM16,533.
“It is too drastic to have such an increase,” he said.
Chong Ngow, 47, said he used to pay assessment of RM3,600 and now the council wanted him settle RM13,378 effective this year.
“MBSA has to settle the land conversion from agriculture to industry before charging new assessment rates.
“MBSA has not consulted the factory owners in Sungai Buloh New Village and has not explained how the new rates will be calculated,” he said.
Lee said factories were stumped by the exorbitant figures and wanted MBSA to revert to the old rates until all matters like tarred roads, proper drainage and garbage collection were sorted out.
“Now, the area has been neglected and this is a shame as the SMIs in the new village contribute to the revenue of the state through exports.
“The council must not be rash in their decision but think of the long-term advantage of keeping foreign investments in the state,” he said.
MBSA Public Relations Depart-ment senior officer Shahrin Ahmad said the mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan would meet the SMI owners in Sungai Buloh New Village where the mechanism used to calculate the assessment would be explained.
“Our Evaluation and Properties Management Department will be there to help the industries on their queries,” he said.