By Shikin Louis
KUCHING, Nov 28: Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian has criticised Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong Wui Wui for making a misleading comparison on advertisement fees to imply that the former was not doing his job.
Dr Sim, who is the Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, explained that advertisement by-laws were crafted based on the principle of reducing the visual pollution of billboards and the fees are chargeable under the Local Authorities (Advertisements) By-Law, 2012.
He said Sarawak’s advertisement fees are based on several categories such as advertisement, small advertisement, business name signboard, poster, temporary advertisement, and advertisement by means of electronic or any non-print devices. All of these categories carry different charges.
Similarly, the categories of advertisement in Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) are illuminated advertisement, un-illuminated advertisement, advertisement on billboard, wall sign or advertisement on unipole tower, overhead bridge, or flyover, electronic board and sky sign which also carries different charges and fees, he explained.
“Our business name signboard in Sarawak charges RM175 per application as compared to DBKL business name signboard charges, which is RM340 per year.
“It is unfair and unreasonable for (Violet Yong) to make comparisons without specifying the categories of advertisement just to mislead this august House that I am not doing and performing my job,” he said when presenting his ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.
On Nov 22, Yong when debating on the State Budget 2024, has called for a review on the high advertisement licence fees imposed under the said law, claiming that the fees are currently the highest in the nation.
Dr Sim further said the Local Authorities (Advertisements) By-Law, 2012 was gazetted by the then Minister for Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.
In addition, he said Yong has been elected to the august House since 2006.
“Only after 10 years of the gazettement of this by-law, with RM20,000 allowance per month as a member of this august House and RM2.4 million after 10 years, (Yong) finally raise the fees payable under this by-law.
“Is this just another blatant malicious attempt to discredit me as Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government? I take it as ‘jealousy is a yardstick of success’,” he said. — DayakDaily