By Malcolm Lau
KUCHING, Dec 22: Kuching South City Council (MBKS) will not review its assessment fees for next year.
MBKS mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said the council disagrees with the directive issued by federal Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin for all local councils nationwide to review their assessment fees beginning 2020.
“I wish to reiterate the Sarawak government’s stand that MBKS shall not follow such directive,” he told reporters here today.
According to Wee, the state government has autonomy over the administration of local councils within its jurisdiction, as stipulated under the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
In respect to local council’s assessment rate in Sarawak, it is not bound by the directive of the federal government, he added.
“The Sarawak state Cabinet recently approved the review of assessment rates for all government buildings, including both federal and state buildings.
“However, the decision to date is to maintain the assessment rates of all commercial and residential buildings at their current rate,” Wee said.
Zuraida was reported as saying on Friday (Dec 20) that assessment fees of local councils nationwide will be reviewed next year, and that she had issued a directive to all local councils to do so.
She pointed out that some councils had not review their assessment rate for years.
She advised local councils not to wait 20, 30 years before increasing the assessment, as it will burden the councils. She added that any increase in assessment tax for local authorities will not burden the people too much.
Zuraida also suggested that the new fees could be maintained until 2025. — DayakDaily