Finally Some Good News?
By TAN KARR WEI
CONDOMINIUMS and highrise unit owners in Petaling Jaya will see a reduction in assessment rates next year.
Mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman announced that in the draft Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) 2009 budget, assessment rates for flats, apartments and condominiums would be reduced from 8% to 6% (except those in Sri Damansara, Mayang Mas and Megah Mas, which remains at 5%).
Rates for service apartments would be reduced from 8.8% to 6.6%
Absorbed: Representatives from residents associations and Rukun Tetangga at the MBPJ 2009 Budget briefing.
Assessment rates for low-cost flats will remain at 5% while assessment for other properties will not be increased.
About 60 representatives from residents associations (RA) and Rukun Tetangga (RT) attended a briefing on the 2009 budget at the MBPJ headquarters in Jalan Yong Shook Lin.
The income deficit would be offset by an estimated RM6.48mil from rental of billboard sites.
A representative from Section 8 RT said there should be funds allocated for activities carried out by RTs and RAs.
Taman Mayang RT chairman Chan Chow Wang said the RM5mil increase to RM52mil in allocation for Alam Flora services was not justified.
“The service provided is not satisfactory. I raised the issue five years ago about the garbage trucks. When the trash is compacted, dirty water leaks from the trucks and dirty our roads,” said Chan.
The RM52mil makes up more than 20% of MBPJ’s total expenditure.
Petaling Jaya Selangor Residents Association (APAC) chairman Liew Wei Beng was upset that the various representatives could not obtain a copy of the draft budget before they attended the meeting.
“We need time to go through the draft to analyse it instead of rushing through it during the briefing,” said Liew.
He also said the numbers for the 2008 budget was an estimation and the actual amount spent up so far was not given and so it was difficult to compare the numbers with the 2009 budget.
“How would we know if there’s a surplus or deficit in the 2008 budget?” asked Liew.
One of the objectives of the budget was to make PJ a knowledge city and RM3.495mil has been allocated for items like Internet connection, computer equipment rental, handheld equipment rental and computer maintenance.
However, one RA representative commented that since the handheld equipment were for enforcement officers and the computers for councillors, it did not contribute to that objective.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman Edward Lee said the presentation of the budget could be improved.
“The council’s accounts for the previous years should also be given so that we will know if the budget provided for those years were sufficient and the budget for 2009 should reflect that,” said Lee, who was formerly the pro tem chairman of the All Petaling Jaya Pro-Action Committee, as APAC was then known.
He also noted that the budget did not address another pressing problem in the city — flooding.
“Flooding is a big problem in PJ and nothing much has been done to alleviate it. It is disheartening to know that there is a decrease in funds for drainage system and drain maintenance,” said Lee.