Perlis to try soft approach in collecting RM26.4m in arrears

17 Jun 2019 / 22:11 H.

KANGAR: Perlis will undertake a “friendly” approach to convince ratepayers to settle the RM26.4 million in arrears from assessment and land taxes.

This approach was needed in view of the economic slowdown which Perlis is now experiencing, state executive councillor Azizan Sulaiman said.

Azizan said with the lukewarm global prices for commodities and the rising living costs, many people continue to struggle in Perlis – the same also applies to other states but to varying degrees.

He told theSun that the state has taken notice of the decree by the Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, who urged ratepayers not to hide behind politically connected friends to avoid settling the arrears.

Azizan said that the state appreciated the wisdom and insight by the Ruler, and they have embarked on a campaign to reach out to the defaulters.

“We have found out that some simply cannot settle the figure they owe us in one lump sum payment.

“They find it difficult to pay up figures such as RM6,000.”

So the state will restructure the outstanding debt, and allow the defaulters to settle in instalments, said Azizan.

Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, during the reappointment of the state executive councillors, said that the state had incurred arrears from assessments and land taxes of up to RM26.4 million.

Former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim urged his successor Datuk Seri Azlan Man to clarify what was defined as ‘friends of politicians’, who did not settle the amount.

Azizan felt that he was not in a position to comment on Shahidan’s statement except to say that efforts are ongoing to reclaim the dues.

Indera Kayangan assemblyman Gan Ay Ling, who is also the state PKR leader, said that the people must understand that there is a price to pay when utilising public amenities and services of local councils.

“We need to practice responsible citizenry by settling our dues so the local councils can improve their quality of services.”

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