Ratepayers seek intervention

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 05 Mar 2006

PETALING JAYA: A group of disgruntled residents, unhappy with the refusal of the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) to allow public scrutiny of its accounts to justify a recent 10% increase in assessment, plans to carry the matter to the higher authorities, including to the Prime Minister. 

Section 5 residents' association chairman Edward Lee said they had made several resolutions that would be contained in a letter to the council. The letter, being drafted now by their lawyers, would be submitted to the council by next week. 

The resolutions meant to tell the MPPJ that the residents, as ratepayers, have the right to voice what they want from the council, he told a meeting with the residents at the association's clubhouse here yesterday. Present were representatives from 30 other residents' associations in the municipality. 

Council president Datuk Ahmad Termizi Puteh, in defending the assessment rate increase, had stated that the last increase was made in 1992 and the cost of running MPPJ had since gone up.  

He said there was no need for anyone to scrutinise its detailed accounts as the council had its own system and committee to vet and endorse the accounts and that, he added, was sufficient. 

In their resolutions, the association rejected his explanation and demanded that the council's accounts be disclosed within seven days from the date of receiving their protest letter. 

They plan to write to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as well as Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and the Public Accounts Committee to seek their intervention. Copies of the letter would be sent to the Sultan of Selangor and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, among others. 

The association's legal adviser Derek Fernandez said the residents found it unacceptable that Ahmad Termizi, being a non-elected representative, was refusing to divulge audited and detailed accounts, as well as other documents pertaining to the income and expenditure of MPPJ. 

Such information, he said, should be public knowledge, adding that many elected representatives, including the Mentri Besar and several MPs and state assemblymen, had stated that local governments should be accountable to ratepayers.  

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