Outcry against DBKL

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18, 2013): Property owners in the city are up in arms over an astronomical hike in assessment rates proposed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for next year.

The new assessment rates affect thousands of owners of homes, business properties, enterprises and even vacant lots.

"The proposed hike in assessment is unacceptable," said Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

"DBKL must justify the proposed increase as even the sewerage service is now handled by Indah Water Konsortium and not City Hall," the PKR vice-president told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

"This means that the services provided by DBKL are even fewer now," she said.

Pakatan Rakyat has initiated a petition against DBKL's proposal to increase assessment rates for house owners by between 100% and 300%.

Nurul Izzah said copies of the petition will be distributed to residents' associations and housing areas.

She urged those affected to fill and submit the petition to the DBKL property management and valuation department director by Dec 17.

Meanwhile, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said assessment rates in the city should not be raised until the country has achieved the status of high-income nation and people can afford to pay.

As such, he said he will not agree even to a reduction in the proposed hike and will only support a total retraction of the policy.

He pointed out that most residents in Kuala Lumpur reside in their properties and do not just invest or lease them out to others to make a profit.

"For young couples, they buy a new house in the city to stay for the long term and cannot afford to pay (the increased assessment).

"On the other hand, the older owners cannot pay because many are retired and have no source of income," Lim said.

Apartment and condominium owners, in particular, are in a huff over the proposed hike, demanding to know why they are being burdened with such a hefty rise when they are getting few services from DBKL.

"We are already having to make maintenance payments to our building managements for various services," Seputih Residents Association head Tan Tai Tong said at a protest today.

"These owners feel there should not be such an increase as they are also paying for the upkeep of their properties," he said at the gathering to discuss the rate hike.

"We are condo residents and I do not know of any benefit that we derive from DBKL services," said Desa Villa management corporation president Peter Lee.

Lee added that, as in other condo complexes, residents are already paying towards a common fund for maintenance of their properties.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who was present, said a dialogue among Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, City Hall representatives and Kuala Lumpur MPs will be held this Saturday at DBKL on the issue.

"An increase in assessment rates will increase property prices too. This is not what we should do, as we want to control property prices so as to make it affordable for KL residents." said Lembah Pantai MIC divisional auditor S. Govinthasamy.