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王 锺 璇

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Tuesday October 18, 2011

Residents question MPSJ’s move of sending out notices to seek details on property



SEVERAL Subang Jaya residents are questioning the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) objective in sending out notices requesting house owners to update their property records.

The MPSJ sent out letters in late July stating that the council was updating its data on property ownership in areas under its administration, and requesting property owners to complete and submit the forms and supporting documents.

The required documents are a copy of property title or sales and purchase agreement and a copy of rental agreement if the building is rented out.

The owner’s statement form, which was attached to the MPSJ’s letter, required details like property address, type of property, land title particulars, and renovation details.

The letter, signed by MPSJ Valuation and Property Management Department director Raja Amir Iskandar Raja Azlan, said the exercise was carried out based on provisions under Section 140 of the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171).

The letter also stated that should property owners fail to submit the required documents within the 14-day period, make false statements and prevent the local authority from entering, inspecting or measuring their property, the owner, upon conviction, could be fined not more than RM2,000 or jailed not more than six months or both. directive: Attached together with the MPSJ’s letter is the owner’s statement form, which required details like property address, type of property, land title particulars, and renovation details.

A check by StarMetro revealed that only those residing in the SS areas in Subang Jaya had received the letters. Those residing in USJ and Bandar Sunway are not aware of the council’s exercise.

Subang Jaya Residents Association chairman A.S. Gill said the letter should have started on an apologetic note and explained in detail the reason for the exercise.

“The letter does not explain the problem as it is asking for documents that the MPSJ should already have. It was also worded in an intimidating manner,” he said.

“What are the objectives for the exercise, and whose responsibility is it for the failure of the council’s record-keeping?” he asked.

Gill said he wanted to find out why the MPSJ’s database was not being maintained and updated properly before submitting the required documents.

He added that this was the first time he received such a request from the council since residing in SS12 for the past 26 years.

A resident from SS18, who declined to be identified, questioned the need for producing a copy of the land title, due to the sensitivity of the document.

“Giving out a copy of that document opens house owners to many risks, including fraud. What guarantee does the MPSJ have on the security and confidentiality of these copies?” he asked.

“Plus land title matters come under the purview of the land office, not the local authority,” he said.

The SS18 resident said the MPSJ should not penalise those who had dutifully paid their assessment taxes.

“The MPSJ can always seize the movable assets in the property in cases of non-payment of assessment rates.

“The council should also limit record updates to habitual defaulters rather than all property owners,” he said,

The SS18 resident said it would not be convenient to submit the documents quickly, as some would have to go the bank to get the necessary files.

Wangsa Baiduri resident Haneef Gordon felt that there was nothing deceitful behind the letter.

“Perhaps the MPSJ’s rationale for the exercise is to ascertain and re-evaluate the assessment rates for Subang Jaya.

“Some residents could be concerned of being penalised for not seeking permission for the renovations on their property,” he said.

Haneef said the exercise appeared fairly straightforward, and likened it to a government census exercise whereby the MPSJ was reviewing its records and statistics.

Kelana Jaya parliamentary liaison officer Ong Chong Swen also questioned MPSJ’s objectives for the exercise.

“The council should state clearly what its objectives are — whether to update its database, penalise those who have carried out renovations without informing the council, or review its assessment rates and ultimately increase its income,” she said.

Ong said the council’s move had created a sense of resentment and unhappiness among the pioneer residents of Subang Jaya.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh clarified that the letter would be issued in stages by the MPSJ to all households under its administration.

“The record-updating exercise will be carried out by all 12 local councils in Selangor,” she said.

Yeoh said she had checked and verified that the exercise was a procedural task carried out by the council pursuant to the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171).





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