Press Statement By Violet Yong:
I urge MBKS to review the current excessive assessment rates (ranges between RM400 to RM540 yearly) that imposed on the units of an affordable housing scheme namely Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront.
PR1MA is a housing development project managed by Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia established under the PR1MA Act 2012 to deliver more affordable homes for medium income households in key urban areas.
Therefore, Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront cannot be categorized or treated as one of the ordinary private development housing projects in Kuching when it comes to calculate or assess the Annual Rateable Value of the property units by MBKS .
“The assessment rate chargeable on any affordable housing schemes including Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront should not be higher or as high as any other housing development projects undertaken by private developers. Special considerations must be taken into account in determining the assessment rates payable.”
In my view, the methodology adopted by MBKS in calculating and deciding the assessment rates of Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront is irrational and improper, particularly when MBKS tried to compare Residensi PRIMA Bintawa Riverfront apartments with other similar grade private apartments projects which are equipped with same facilities and assessed within MBKS jurisdiction.
I have noticed that the current assessment rate chargeable by MBKS on Bintawa Riverfront is much more expensive than the assessment rates imposed on other landed terraced houses within Kuching area like Tabuan Jaya, Tabuan Height, Taman Riverview, Bintawa etc.
It is even unthinkable and ridiculous to see that the assessment bill for certain units typed of Bintawa Riverfront is four times higher than the assessment rates for PR1MA Matang units with similar area size. For example, the assessment rates for some units at PRIMA Matang is billed for RM62.80 half yearly whereas for Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront, the assessment bill could go as high as RM270. 30 half yearly which is four times or more expensive than PR1MA Matang units.
The other reasoning to justify MBKS to take immediate action to review and lower the assessment rates for Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront is that the most of the maintenance works including grass cutting, drainage cleaning, public compound cleanliness, street lighting servicing, play ground and green area maintenance etc within the residential compound are carried out by PR1MA management team solely and not MBKS.
If MBKS insists on charging such expensive assessment rates on affordable housing scheme despite knowing the strong objection from the residents whom majority of them are from middle lower income group, the council has in fact shown ignorant, being inconsiderate and goes against the aim, motto, of the government in providing affordable housing to the people through PR1MA Housing Schemes.
MBKS should not charge the units’owner for either maintenance works or services that the council does not render. It is very unethical for council to do so.
Residensi PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront has a total of 1320 units. I will formally write to Ministry of Local Government and MBKS to raise the issues concerned.