MALACCA: Private companies, including a golf club and several developers, are the major culprits among those owing the Melaka Tengah District and Land Office quit rent arrears of about RM28mil as of Dec 31 last year.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam discovered this yesterday on making a surprise visit to the office in a move to emulate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who visited the Immigration Department in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The individual amounts owed ranged from hundreds of thousands of ringgit to RM2.6mil.
When Mohd Ali asked whether any action had been taken against the culprits, he was told that notices had been issued urging them to pay up or risk having their land seized.
“We have sent the notices to them and some have appealed,” said Norliah Abdullah, chief assistant to the financial administrator of the office.
Among others in arrears were government agencies, including the Malacca City Council (RM411,178), state Islamic Affairs Council (RM129,698), Malacca Economic Development Corporation (RM780,237) and Mara (RM165,967).
The total amount of arrears owed by government agencies stood at RM1.79mil.
Mohd Ali said he would ask them to settle the arrears during the state exco meeting next week.
He said his visit to the Melaka Tengah District and Land Office was in response to Abdullah’s call to improve the efficiency of services to the public at counters in state government offices.
Mohd Ali also checked records kept by the office on cash received and instructed the officers to close the cash account daily.
He was dissatisfied with the computer system which was offline during his visit as the office was located at Hang Tuah Mall, an area equipped with broadband facilities.
Mohd Ali suggested that the office introduce incentive schemes such as lucky draws to encourage individuals to settle their quit rent.
“However, such incentives would serve no purpose with big companies as they are not going to be attracted by a TV set or a unit of low-cost housing,” he added.
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