KUALA LUMPUR: Partially-aided schools, some of which owe the state governments over RM100,000 in quit rent arrears from 1999, will only have to pay a token RM1 per lot a year under new guidelines introduced by the National Land Council.
Over 1,800 such schools, which include religious schools, mission schools and vernacular primary schools, stand to benefit from the move.
Deputy Land and Co-operative Development Minister Dr Tan Kee Kwong said the councils ruling on the token rate was passed on Oct 26, 1999, and the newly-released guidelines would provide for standardised implementation in the various states.
The ruling has come about in recognition that partially-aided schools are non-profit institutions that serve the communitys education needs but are built on privately-owned land.
Furthermore, the Government acknowledges that it has been using this land for the schools without paying rent to the landowners, he told a press conference after the ministrys briefing of the guidelines for state Land and Mines Office directors and representatives from the affected schools.
Previously, Dr Tan said, the schools were charged quit rent based on the rate for commercial land, which could come up to a substantial sum.
For instance, one such school, SK Marian Convent in Ipoh owes a total of RM184,600 in arrears. Now they only need to pay RM1 per lot per year, so this will be a relief for such schools, he said.
Dr Tan added that the new rate would be applied for the years in arrears.
According to him, Chinese independent schools - which have also been asking for a reduction - would not enjoy the token quit rent.
However, he added, the ministry would consider applications for a reduction from these schools on a case-by-case basis.
Since not all private schools are non-profit institutions, the Government cannot implement a blanket approval, he said.
Dr Tan also clarified that these applications should only cover land occupied by the school concerned and used solely for educational purposes.
Malayan Christian Schools Council honorary secretary Yin Kam Yoke said the council welcomed the implementation of the 1999 ruling.
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